The American Public Health Association’s 141st annual meeting and exposition is slated for November 2-6, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts. Expected to attract more than 13,000 physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists, and featuring a myriad of presentations, the meeting will include a session on “Regulating for the Public’s Health: Food and Beverages, Drugs, and Emerging Technologies.”

Among the presentations during this session are the legal considerations of antibiotics in food animals, focusing on a court order requiring that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) complete proceedings to withdraw approval of certain antibiotics (presented by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention senior attorney Heather Horton), and “Legal strategies to increase funding and improve the FDA’s authority over food labeling violations and questionable claims” (presented by Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity attorney Jennifer Pomeranz). Pomeranz contends that FDA lacks sufficient authority and funding to address misbranded food products and “[t]he result has been a proliferation of claims on packaged food that create a misleading impression of health.” Pomeranz will propose “an innovative method for increased funding and increased authority for FDA to address questionable claims on food products” involving a congressionally created “deterrencebased system of enforcement.”

Pomeranz will also participate in a session addressing “Preventing overconsumption of fast food by young people: Strategies to improve fast food nutritional quality and reduce restaurant visits.” Her specific topic is “Regulation of fast food restaurant marketing and retail practices.” Other topics during this session include (i) “Have fast food restaurants become healthier for children?: Progress, purchases, and public relations”; (ii) “Fast-food marketing to children and adolescents: Increasing youth engagement with brands”; (iii) “Effect of fast-food advertising on children’s consumption and weight outcomes”; and (iv) “Changes in the New York City restaurant environment.”

Another session, titled “Modeling the cost effectiveness of childhood obesity interventions and policies: an evaluation of methods to evaluate four strategies in the United States,” will include a discussion on the “Cost-effectiveness of a sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax in the United States.” This presentation will focus on a study that “quantifies the expected health and economic benefits of a national [sugar-sweetened beverage] excise tax of 1 cent per ounce.” The researchers conclude that while such a tax “would save $1,289 for every dollar spent administering the tax over the lifetime of the cohort and in addition generate $12.6 billion in annual revenue (2005 dollars),” it would also “substantially reduce BMI and healthcare expenditures, and increase healthy life and revenue for health promotion.”