The Commercial Determinants of Health

The Wider Determinants of Health

Not everyone has the same chances in life when it comes to maintaining good health and avoiding illness. By looking at data from across large populations researchers can start to identify these differences and these are known as the determinants of health. While many of these determinants are more focussed on the individual and how they interact with others (see this link for more on this), there are many which shape the environment in which the individual exists and these are termed the Social Determinants.

The Commercial Determinants of Health

More recently, attention has shifted to the drivers that help shape these personal and social determinants of health and in particular the impact that commercial interests have on our "choices". The Commercial Determinants of Health have been defined as…“strategies and approaches used by the private sector to promote products and choices that are detrimental to health” (Kickbusch et al., 2016) and this page contains slides and resources used to explore this topic.

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PBHM01 Commercial Determinants

Key Recommended Reading

Allen, L. (2021) Commercial Determinants of Global Health. In Haring, R., Kickbusch, I., Ganten, D. and Moeti, M. The Handbook of Global Health. Springer https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-030-05325-3_57-1.pdf

Kickbusch, I., Allen, L., & Franz, C. (2016). The commercial determinants of health. The Lancet Global Health, 4(12), e895-e896. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30217-0

McKee, M., & Stuckler, D. (2018). Revisiting the corporate and commercial determinants of health. American Journal of Public Health, 108(9), 1167-1170. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304510

Naik et al. (2019) Going upstream – an umbrella review of the macroeconomic determinants of health and health inequalities. BMC Public Health 19:1678 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7895-6

Image from: Kickbusch, I., Allen, L., & Franz, C. (2016). The commercial determinants of health. The Lancet Global Health, 4(12), e895-e896. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30217-0

Further Reading

Allen, L. N., Hatefi, A., & Feigl, A. B. (2019). Corporate profits versus spending on non-communicable disease prevention: an unhealthy balance. The Lancet Global Health, 7(11), e1482-e1483. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30399-7

Brownell KD, Warner KE (2009) The perils of ignoring history: Big tobacco played dirty and millions died. how similar is big food. Milbank Q 87:259–294. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2009.00555.x

David, J. L., Thomas, S. L., Randle, M., Daube, M., & Balandin, S. (2019). The role of public health advocacy in preventing and reducing gambling related harm: challenges, facilitators, and opportunities for change. Addiction research & theory, 27(3), 210-219. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2018.1490410

Dorfman L, Cheyne A, Friedman LC, et al (2012) Soda and tobacco industry corporate social responsibility campaigns: How do they compare? PLoS Med 9:9. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001241

Fallin, A., Grana, R., & Glantz, S. A. (2014). ‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party. Tobacco Control, 23(4), 322-331. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050815

Gostin, L. O., Monahan, J. T., Kaldor, J., DeBartolo, M., Friedman, E. A., Gottschalk, K., ... & Cabal, L. (2019). The legal determinants of health: harnessing the power of law for global health and sustainable development. The Lancet, 393(10183), 1857-1910.

Greenhalgh, S. (2019). Making China safe for Coke: how Coca-Cola shaped obesity science and policy in China. BMJ, 364. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k5050

Hernandez-Aguado I, Zaragoza GA (2016) Support of public–private partnerships in health promotion and conflicts of interest. BMJ Open 6:e009342. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009342

Kickbusch, I. (2012) Addressing The Interface of the Political and Commercial Determinants of Health. Health Promotion International, 27 (4), 427-428.

Kickbusch, I., Allen, L., & Franz, C. (2016). The commercial determinants of health. The Lancet Global Health, 4(12), e895-e896. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30217-0

Knai, C., Petticrew, M., Mays, N., Capewell, S., Cassidy, R., Cummins, S., ... & Katikireddi, S. V. (2018). Systems thinking as a framework for analyzing commercial determinants of health. The Milbank Quarterly, 96(3), 472-498. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0009.12339

Kriznik, N. M., Kinmonth, A. L., Ling, T., & Kelly, M. P. (2018). Moving beyond individual choice in policies to reduce health inequalities: the integration of dynamic with individual explanations. Journal of Public Health, 40(4), 764-775. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy045

de Lacy-Vawdon, C., & Livingstone, C. (2020). Defining the commercial determinants of health: a systematic review. BMC public health, 20(1), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09126-1

Maani, N., McKee, M., Petticrew, M., Galea, S. (2020) Corporate practices and the health of populations: a research and translational agenda. The Lancet Public Health DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30270-1

Maani, N., Collin, J., Friel, S., Gilmore, A.B., McCambridge, J., Robertson, L., Petticrew, M.P. (2020) Bringing the commercial determinants of health out of the shadows: a review of how the commercial determinants are represented in conceptual frameworks, European Journal of Public Health, ckz197, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckz197

Maani, N, Bertscher A, Critchlow N, Fitzgerald N, Knai C, Stead M, Petticrew M. Recruiting the “Heavy-Using Loyalists of Tomorrow”: An Analysis of the Aims, Effects and Mechanisms of Alcohol Advertising, Based on Advertising Industry Evaluations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(21):4092. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214092

Marks, J. H. (2019). The perils of partnership: Industry influence, institutional integrity, and public health. Oxford University Press. [publisher]

McKee, M., & Stuckler, D. (2018). Revisiting the corporate and commercial determinants of health. American Journal of Public Health, 108(9), 1167-1170. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304510

Michaels, D., & Monforton, C. (2005). Manufacturing uncertainty: contested science and the protection of the public’s health and environment. American Journal of Public Health, 95(S1), S39-S48.

Petticrew, M., Katikireddi, S. V., Knai, C., Cassidy, R., Hessari, N. M., Thomas, J., & Weishaar, H. (2017). ‘Nothing can be done until everything is done’: the use of complexity arguments by food, beverage, alcohol and gambling industries. J Epidemiol Community Health, 71(11), 1078-1083.

Serodio, P., Ruskin, G, McKee, M., Stuckler, D. (2020) Evaluating Coca-Cola’s attempts to influence public health ‘in their own words’: analysis of Coca-Cola emails with public health academics leading the Global Energy Balance Network Public Health Nutrition DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020002098

Wiist, W. H. (2019). Mechanisms Underlying Corporations as Determinants of Health. American journal of public health, 109(2), e1-e1.

William H. Wiist (Ed.). (2010). The bottom line or public health: tactics corporations use to influence health and health policy, and what we can do to counter them. Oxford University Press. [google books]

Berkely Media Studies Group - Media Advocacy Resources and find them on twitter @BMSG

Corporate Consumption Complex And The Need For A New Public Health Agenda

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A podcast linked to Greenhalgh, S. (2019). Making China safe for Coke: how Coca-Cola shaped obesity science and policy in China. BMJ, 364. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k5050

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