Category Archives: Non-Communicable Diseases


Philadelphia’s soda tax: a win for public health (and the city’s budget)

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On June 16, despite vehement opposition from the beverage industry, the City of Philadelphia adopted a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on sodas. The tax will be applied to both regular and diet sodas and is predicted to raise over $90 million in the first year. Philadelphia’s tax is widely viewed as an important step […]

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Ladies, know your hearts

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I wanted to share a creative and fun public health message that I ran across recently. Rosie O’Donnell, the stand up comedian and former daytime television host, suffered a massive heart attack in the summer of 2012. She didn’t realize that she was having a heart attack because the symptoms that she suffered were not […]

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Ending tax subsidies for junk food advertising to children

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The United States is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. This public health crisis demands urgent attention and action, including removing the little-known tax subsidy for junk food advertising to children. Childhood overweight and obesity In the past three decades, obesity has more than doubled among children and quadrupled among adolescents. Today, nearly 13 […]

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Update on IACHR Hearing on Tobacco Control and Human Rights

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On April 5, the O’Neill Institute, in collaboration with Fundacion InterAmericana del Corazon Argentina (FIC Argentina) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), participated in a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) on the “Right to Health and Tobacco Addiction in the Americas”. It was the first time that the Commission considered the intersection […]

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Ending childhood obesity: the role of laws and regulations

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Obesity can have serious effects on children’s health, educational achievements, and overall quality of life. In 2014, a UNICEF-WHO-World Bank joint report estimated that 41 million children under 5 were overweight or obese. Globalization and urbanization mean that many children are growing up in obesogenic environments and that the prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing, […]

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Public Health: A Missing Link in the Executive Action to Reduce Gun Violence

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This post was written by O’Neill Institute Faculty Director, Lawrence O. Gostin and O’Neill Institute Associate, Aliza Glasner. Questions about this post can be directed to or   Yesterday, President Obama took a modest, but critical first step to strengthen America’s existing regulatory framework aimed at preventing firearm-related injuries and deaths. Speaking from […]

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Why We Need the Framework Convention on Global Health Following the SDGs

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Next month, the WHO Executive Board will meet with a lengthy agenda, representing the range of serious health burdens and threats that persist. One challenge stands above the rest: immense global and national health inequities, linked to some 20 million deaths every year (about which more in an upcoming blog). The Executive Board could take […]

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: the nexus between disability and NCDs

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Much of my day-to-day work at the O’Neill Institute involves researching and advising on the use of law as a tool to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Today, on the fourteenth International Day of Persons with Disabilities, it’s timely to explore the multiple interconnections between disabilities and NCDs.

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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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