232054 Reforming harmful corporate practices to protect the public's health: An important strategy for the twenty first century

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Marianne Sullivan, DrPH , Department of Health Professions and Family Studies, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
There are many public health problems for which a causal role could be attributed to harmful industry or corporate practices. Most obvious are occupational illnesses, illness arising from environmental pollution, and tobacco-related disease. Current public health efforts aimed at the tobacco, food, and beverage industries potentially presage a growing focus within the field on reforming and influencing corporate practices to achieve improvements in population health.

Explicit discussion of the role of corporate practices in influencing the public's health has become more commonplace. Anti-tobacco activists, historians, and occupational health researchers have all helped to expose common industry strategies to influence science, public opinion, and the regulatory process to maintain markets for harmful or deadly products. Some researchers have developed conceptual frameworks for understanding harmful corporate practices and how they impact health, and have argued that addressing such practices is an important pathway for improving the public's health. Others have called for greater linkages between public health and anti-corporate movements, and training public health researchers and practitioners to focus on corporate practices as a determinant of health.

This presentation will review recent scholarship regarding corporate practices and their impact on health, examine the domains in which corporate practices have been linked to health impacts, explore others, and discuss the importance of such a focus for public health research and practice in the twenty first century. I will also discuss some of the pitfalls and challenges of such an approach.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to articulate key concepts from the current literature regarding the impact of harmful corporate practices on health; 2. By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to list three reasons that reforming harmful corporate practices will increasingly be an important public health strategy.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted my dissertation research on this topic and am currently working on a book that is related to this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.