Profits And Pandemics: Prevention Of Harmful Effects Of Tobacco, Alcohol, And Ultra-Processed Food And Drink Industries

Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 02/2013; 381(9867):670-9. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62089-3
Source: PubMed


The 2011 UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) called for multisectoral action including with the private sector and industry. However, through the sale and promotion of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink (unhealthy commodities), transnational corporations are major drivers of global epidemics of NCDs. What role then should these industries have in NCD prevention and control? We emphasise the rise in sales of these unhealthy commodities in low-income and middle-income countries, and consider the common strategies that the transnational corporations use to undermine NCD prevention and control. We assess the effectiveness of self-regulation, public-private partnerships, and public regulation models of interaction with these industries and conclude that unhealthy commodity industries should have no role in the formation of national or international NCD policy. Despite the common reliance on industry self-regulation and public-private partnerships, there is no evidence of their effectiveness or safety. Public regulation and market intervention are the only evidence-based mechanisms to prevent harm caused by the unhealthy commodity industries.

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Available from: Rob Moodie, Oct 02, 2015
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    • "It also requires strong accountability within government bureaucracies because multisectorality can fragment leadership, capacity, and resource flows. Similarly, a strong regulatory environment is necessary as the private sector produces a number of products that if marketed irresponsibly can harm the nutrient consumption of children under 2 years of age—effective regulation and enforcement of that regulation is vital for the nutrition status of the most vulnerable (Moodie et al., 2013). A strong system of law and order is founded on a solid and impartial legal system in conjunction with popular observance of the law. "
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    ABSTRACT: As the post-MDG era approaches in 2016, reducing child undernutrition is gaining high priority on the international development agenda, both as a maker and marker of development. Revisiting Smith and Haddad (2000), we use data from 1970 to 2012 for 116 countries, finding that safe water access, sanitation, women's education, gender equality, and the quantity and quality of food available in countries have been key drivers of past reductions in stunting. Income growth and governance played essential facilitating roles. Complementary to nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs and policies, accelerating reductions in undernutrition in the future will require increased investment in these priority areas. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    World Development 04/2015; 68(441). DOI:10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.11.014 · 1.73 Impact Factor
    • "There is mounting concern about the high levels of consumption of highly processed foods and the low consumption of fresh foods like fruit and vegetables (e.g. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2006; Krebs-Smith et al., 2010; Rangan et al., 2007) and their likely influence over the prevalence of metabolic disease in the population (Moodie et al., 2013; Lassale et al., 2013). The public health responses to this situation have been piecemeal (Stuckler and Nestle, 2012) varying from industry promises to reform to calls for its regulation (Brownell, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose -There is increasing interest in the domestic preparation of food and with the postulated health benefits of "cooking from scratch". The purpose of this paper is to examine the demographic and food preparation associations of this term in order to examine its operational value. Design/methodology/approach - A national online survey was conducted during 2012 in Australia among 1,023 domestic food providers, half of whom were men. Questions were asked about cooking from scratch, demographic characteristics, food preparation practices and interest in learning about cooking. Findings - Three quarters of the sample reported they often or always "cooked from scratch" (CFS). More women than men always CFS; fewer 18-29 year olds did so often or always but more of the over 50s always did so; fewer single people CFS than cohabiting people. No statistically significant ethnic, educational background or household income differences were found. High levels of cooking from scratch were associated with interest in learning more about cooking, greater use of most cooking techniques (except microwaves), meat and legume preparation techniques, and the use of broader ranges of herbs, spice, liquids/ sauces, other ingredients and cooking utensils. Research limitations/implications - In future work a numerical description of the frequency of cooking from scratch should be considered along with a wider range of response options. The data were derived from an online panel from which men were oversampled. Caution is required in comparisons between men and women respondents. The cross-sectional nature of the sample prevents any causal attributions from being drawn from the observed relationships. Further replication of the findings, especially the lack of association with educational background should be conducted. Originality/value - This is the first study to examine the associations of demographic characteristics and cooking practices with cooking from scratch. The findings suggest that cooking from scratch is common among Australian family food providers and signifies interest in learning about cooking and involvement in a wide range of cooking techniques.
    British Food Journal 02/2015; 117(2):664-676. DOI:10.1108/BFJ-01-2014-0018 · 0.77 Impact Factor
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    • "The increase in consumption of unhealthy food and drinks is occurring fastest now in poorer ('developing') countries where the food systems are highly penetrated by foreign multinationals (Stuckler et al., 2012) and the state institutions are usually not capable of controlling corporate leverage; but even in advanced countries, the only mechanisms that have clearly been shown to prevent the harm caused by unhealthy commodities are public regulation and market intervention (Moodie et al., 2013; WHO, 2013). This means more state, not less. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyses the main fault lines of the industrial food system and the consequences of the absolute commodification of food. Then, using the food regime theory and exploring the developments in the industrial food system (mainstream) and the urban alternative food networks (AFNs) and rural food sovereignty movement (innovative niches), the author proposes a transition pathway (the re-commonification of food) towards a food commons regime in which primacy rests in its feature as human beings' absolute need and the different dimensions of food are properly valued, in opposition to the corporate mono-dimensional valuation of food as a commodity. In order to crowdsource this transition, this paper argues the food sovereignty movement and the AFNs need to grow together, beyond individual organisations, to knit a different and bigger food web capable of confronting the industrial food system for the common good. This ongoing transition that will span decades is to be steered by a tricentric governance system (urban and rural civic collective actions for food, partner states and social private enterprises) that enables access and promote food in all its dimensions through a multiplicity of open structures and sustainable peer-to-peer practices aimed at sharing, co-producing and trading food and knowledge. Unlike the market, the food commons are about cooperation, sharing, stewardship, equity, self-production, sustainability, collectiveness, embeddedness and direct democracy from local to global. Shifting the dominant discourse from the private sphere to the commons arena will open up a whole new world of economic, political and societal innovations, not least the Universal Food Coverage.
    Agricultural Commons (provisional title), Edited by Guido Ruivenkamp, Andy Hilton, 01/2015;
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