The Commercial Determinants of Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs): Developing Strategies for Prevention



Aadeliah Maker Diedericks, David Sanders, Fran Baum, Carlos Monteiro, Nicholas Freudenberg and Téa Collins at the Prince Mahidol Awards Conference (PMAC).

At the 2019 Prince Mahidol Conference on Global Health held in Bangkok, Thailand on the theme of the political economy of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) from January 29 to February 3, 2019, a special session on commercial influences on NCDs analyzed the role of the food, alcohol, tobacco, banking and other sectors in shaping the global prevalence and distribution of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, hypertension and some forms of cancer.  Panelists sought to answer these questions:

  • What are the commercial drivers influencing the risk factors of NCDs in different contexts?
  • What is the role of industries such as food and beverage, tobacco, alcohol,  and extractive industries in influencing the commercial determinants?
  • What are the common strategies of marketing to children and adolescents (e.g. particularly digital marketing) and mechanisms to reduce exposure to NCD risk factors, notably alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy foods and beverages?
  • How have governments engaged with industry to mitigate the risk to health and enhance public health benefits? What has worked and what has not?
  • What is the role played by different institutions in facilitating or regulating the commercial determinants, including Governments, and other stakeholders such as WTO, multilateral organizations and civil society?

The panel included these presentations:

The Commercial Determinants of NCDs: Public Health Strategies to Reduce Harmful Influences, Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health, City University of New York, New York, USA. View presentation

The Role of the Transnational Ultra-Processed Food Industry in the Pandemic of Obesity and its Associated Diseases: Problems and Solutions. Carlos Monteiro, Professor, Center for Epidemiological Studies in Health and Nutrition, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. View presentation

What’s the Role for Advocacy and Campaigning Body? Aadeliah Maker Diedericks, Coordinator Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance , Cape Town South Africa.  View presentation

A WHO Perspective on Commercial Influences on NCDs. Téa Collins, Adviser, Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion,  World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, View a recent paper on commercial influences by Collins and colleagues.  Link to:

Reducing the impact of Trans-National Corporations on Non-communicable Disease: the Nutcracker Effect, Fran Baum, Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor. Southgate Institute, College Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. View Presentation

The moderator for the session was David Sanders, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape and co-founder People’s Health Movement.


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