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Health InequalitiesCritical Perspectives$
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Katherine E. Smith, Clare Bambra, and Sarah E. Hill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703358.001.0001

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Industrial epidemics and inequalities: The commercial sector as a structural driver of inequalities in non-communicable diseases

Industrial epidemics and inequalities: The commercial sector as a structural driver of inequalities in non-communicable diseases

Chapter:
(p.177) Chapter 13 Industrial epidemics and inequalities: The commercial sector as a structural driver of inequalities in non-communicable diseases
Source:
Health Inequalities
Author(s):

Jeff Collin

Sarah Hill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703358.003.0013

After charting the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the global burden of disease and health inequalities, this chapter outlines the role of unhealthy commodity industries as structural drivers of health inequalities. Reflecting this assessment, the chapter criticizes contemporary strategies for tackling NCDs for their preoccupation with individual behaviours and relative neglect of the role that private corporations play in these ‘industrial epidemics’. It considers how and why tobacco control represents a notable exception, with tobacco companies increasingly being perceived as vectors of disease from which health policy requires protection, in contrast to alcohol and processed-food industries, which are widely depicted as potential partners in health policy. The chapter concludes by outlining emergent pressures towards a more coherent approach across tobacco, alcohol, and food policies, considering the implications of such coherence for policy and health inequalities research.

Keywords:   NCDs, health inequalities, industrial epidemics, unhealthy commodity industries, private sector, corporations, tobacco, alcohol, food, health policy, policy coherence

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