Corporations and Health Watch Goes Back to School: 10 Recent Articles for Fall 2013 Courses

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As the summer draws to an end and the start of a new semester looms, those of us in the health teaching and learning business consider how best to make sure how our Fall courses prepare students to meet their professional responsibilities.  To assist CHW readers who believe that public health professionals ought to understand more about how business practices influence health, I suggest 10 articles that can be added to a variety of Fall courses, including courses on health behavior, epidemiology, global health, health policy, public health history, health ethics, or health equity. To suggest others, send a message to and we’ll post a compilation of your responses. The goals of these readings are to encourage students to analyze corporate practices as a modifiable social determinant of health and consider public health strategies to change harmful corporate practices. They can also help readers to assess the similarities and differences among the strategies these different industries use. 


Ten Recent Articles to Add to Health Courses on the Impact of Corporate Practices on Health


Baum FE, Sanders DM. Ottawa 25 years on: a more radical agenda for health equity is still required. Health Promot Int. 2011 Dec;26 Suppl 2:ii253-7.  pdf


Brandt AM. Inventing conflicts of interest: a history of tobacco industry tactics. Am J Public Health. 2012 Jan;102(1):63-71.  Abstract


Douglas MJ, Watkins SJ, Gorman DR, Higgins M. Are cars the new tobacco?  J Public Health (Oxf). 2011 Jun;33(2):160-9.  pdf


Freudenberg N. The manufacture of lifestyle: the role of corporations in unhealthy living. J Public Health Policy. 2012;33(2):244-56. Abstract


Igumbor EU, Sanders D, Puoane TR, Tsolekile L, Schwarz C, Purdy C, Swart R, Durão S, Hawkes C. “Big food,” the consumer food environment, health, and the policy response in South Africa. PLoS Med. 2012;9(7):e1001253.  pdf


Labonté R, Mohindra KS, Lencucha R. Framing international trade and chronic disease. Global Health. 2011 Jul 4;7:21.  pdf


Monteiro CA, Cannon G. The impact of transnational “big food” companies on the South: a view from Brazil. PLoS Med. 2012;9(7):e1001252. pdf


Moodie R, Stuckler D, Monteiro C, Sheron N, Neal B, Thamarangsi T, Lincoln P, Casswell S; Lancet NCD Action Group. Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries. Lancet. 2013 Feb 23;381(9867):670-9. Abstract


Siegel M, Dejong W, Naimi TS, Fortunato EK, Albers AB, Heeren T, Rosenbloom DL, Ross C, Ostroff J, Rodkin S, King C, Borzekowski DL, Rimal RN, Padon AA, Eck RH, Jernigan DH. Brand-specific consumption of alcohol among underage youth in the United States. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013;37(7):1195-203. Abstract


Steinman MA, Landefeld CS, Baron RB. Industry support of CME–are we at the tipping point? N Engl J Med. 2012;366(12):1069-71. pdf


And for those of you planning to teach on this topic in the Spring 2014 semester, here’s a shameless self-promotion.  My new book Lethal but Legal Corporations, Consumption and Protecting Public Health will be published by Oxford University Press in January 2014.  It’s available for pre-order at Oxford and at Amazon.  More details in future posts on CHW.