Chicago Journal of International Law

Start Page



Obesity is a global epidemic affecting both the developed and developing world. Governments have instituted different policy measures to counter their citizens' increasing weight, and these measures are often incompatible with the international trade laws protected by the World Trade Organization. Scholars have tried to interpret the various international trade law treaties in ways that would legitimize those diet-related policies that are in tension with the international trade regime. Such efforts, though, are misdirected because of their potential to be ineffective and regressive. Instead, this Comment will propose that non-state actors that have prospered within the global free trade system-- specifically corporations, such as Wal-Mart, whose revenues rival the GDP of many nations--may be best situated to help counteract the obesity epidemic.