The commercial determinants of health, by Ilona Kickbusch, Luke Allen and Christian Franz

Saúde Global

The Lancet Global Health – WHO Director-General Margaret Chan has noted that “efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators”.1 Selling processed food and drink, alcohol, and tobacco is big business and demand is booming, especially in low-income and middle-income countries.

There has always been critical public health analysis of the power of the corporate sector— especially in the field of tobacco—and attention has turned to other areas in recent years, including work on unhealthy commodities,2 industrial epidemics,3 profit-driven diseases,4 and corporate practices harmful to health.5 The focus on lifestyle choices has also been extensively critiqued, especially in relation to marketing to children.6
These domains of study share significant overlaps, yet researchers are often divided by discipline, approach, and health topic. We believe there is value in conceptually uniting this work under the banner of the commercial determinants of health: a synergistic, multidisciplinary field…

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