For my White Paper, I am hoping to write about childhood obesity and examine how public policy could influence the problem in this country. Childhood obesity has become a very popular public issue and parts of the population have called for reform to help aid the nation with this epidemic. Research on this topic, especially the type coming from think tanks, really addresses the causes and effects of this epidemic in the country. The relationship between these is what I want to research.
The think tank I found was RAND, which has an entire section about research surrounding childhood obesity. The RAND corporation is a non-profit think tank that tries to positively influence government policy through research. It has a massive amount of research surrounding my topic, especially covering the relationship between childhood obesity and portion size. I found this to be interesting because I believe that portion and serving size is something that can be regulated and controlled. Their research demonstrated that children are more likely to finish everything that is given to them, especially when snacks are concerned. Could this intake be limited? RAND’s research about child obesity raises a lot of interesting points and highlights issues surrounding the epidemic that could be protected by government policy.
I think that the research that a think tank like RAND can provide about a policy issue like childhood obesity would be hugely helpful for our research and writing process for the white paper. This type of research is invaluable because it is the compilation of years of research and is published in a professional way. I had never really heard of think tanks before this or entirely understood what they were used for, but this process has given me an understanding and an appreciation for the work that think tanks produce.