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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    • "The increased consumption of highly processed foods—which is deemed a part of the 'nutrition transition'—has paralleled the increase in rates of obesity and the rise in incidence of diabetes and other chronic diseases in the South (Friel & Lichacz, 2010; Moodie et al., 2013). The growing concern—on the part of governments, nutrition and health experts, and the wider public—over the diet-related health problems associated with the over-consumption of highlyprocessed foods and beverages has in turn posed a number of challenges and threats to these corporations. "
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    09/2015; 2(2):136. DOI:10.15353/cfs-rcea.v2i2.113
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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
    • "In addition many current food products are harmful to human health (e.g. Moodie et al., 2013). Many food consumers appear to be concerned about these impacts of the food system as is evident from the increasing demand for environmentally friendly food products (McEachern & Warnaby, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Consumer support for pro environmental food policies and food purchasing are important for the adoption of successful environmental policies. This paper examines consumers' views of food policy options as their predisposition to purchase pro environmental foods along with their likely demographic, educational and cognitive antecedents including food and environmental concerns and universalism values (relating to care for others and the environment). An online survey to assess these constructs was conducted among 2204 Australian adults in November 2011. The findings showed strong levels of support for both environmental food policies (50% to 78% support) and pro environmental food purchasing (51% to 69% intending to purchase pro environmental foods). Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling showed that different cognitive mediators exist along pathways between demographics and the two outcome variables. Support for food policy was positively related to food and environment concerns (std. Beta = 0.25), universalism (0.41), perceived control (0.07), and regulatory issues (0.64 but negatively with food security issues (-0.37). Environment purchasing intentions were positively linked to food and nutrition concerns (0.13), food and environment concerns (0.24), food safety concerns 0.19), food and animal welfare concerns (0.16), universalism (0.25), female gender (0.05), education (0.04), and perceived influence over the food system (0.17). In addition, health study in years 11 and 12 was positively related to the beginning of both these pathways (0.07 for each). The results are discussed in relation to the opportunities that communications based on the mediating variables offer for the promotion of environmental food policies and purchasing. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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