Global Policy Forum

Profits and Pandemics: Prevention of Harmful Effects of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Ultra-Processed Food and Drink Industries

The medical journal "The Lancet" has published a series of articles on non-communicable diseases and their role in the Post-2015 debate. This particular article looks at transnational food and drink corporations as drivers of NCDs. It examines their political behavior and how they work to undermine health regulations, drawing a close comparison to the tobacco and alcohol industries. Each year there are more than 9.4 million deaths caused by high blood pressure, 3.4 million from high body-mass index and 2 million from high cholesterol, much of which could be ascribed to the consumption of processed foods and drinks. Despite these health dangers, transnational companies such as Nestle and Coco-Cola have a big influence on public policies designed to fight NCDs and have a powerful position in the global market, in particular in low and middle income countries. The Lancet NCD Action Group calls on governments and civil society to work to protect public health and regulate the actions of these industries. Click here to read the report.

By Rob Moodie, David Stuckler, Carlos Monteiro, Nick Sheron, Bruce Neal, Thaksaphon Thamarangsi, Paul Lincoln, Sally Casswell, on behalf of The Lancet NCD Action Group

The Lancet
February 12, 2013

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