Online Program

Building effective policies to reducing non-communicable disease: The relevance of the alcohol experience for curtailing unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and tobacco use

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Norman Giesbrecht, PhD, Social & Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Esa Osterberg, MSc, Department of Alcohol and Addictions, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki 00271, Finland
Maria Quadri, BSC, Social & Epidemiological Research Dept., Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Robin Room, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Melbourne, Turning Point Alcohol andDrug Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Ingeborg Rossow, PhD, DDS, Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research, Oslo, Norway
Laura A. Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Pekka Sulkunen, PhD, Soc Sc, Kone Foundation Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium fo Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCD) comprise half of the overall global disease burden. Four proximal risk factors – alcohol use, tobacco use, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet intake – account for a significant fraction of this disease burden. There are many parallels in policymaking on these risk factors, but the literatures on them have been largely separate. This presentation contributes thinking on the cross-over potential with regard to these risk factors, by examining how the alcohol experience – promotion or erosion of controls – can inform initiatives to control the other three risk factors. Methods: The authors reviewed over 50 papers published since 2000, including those that compared policy and prevention experiences involving at least two of the four risk factors. Results: Price, controls on physical availability, type of retailing system and controls on marketing and promotion are relevant to all four risk factors, although they have not been widely implemented to curtail physical inactivity or promote healthy diets. Other interventions such as prohibitions on selling to minors, server training and offering brief interventions for those at higher risk are more relevant to alcohol and tobacco. For tobacco, policies on outlet availability are under-developed, and government retailing of tobacco seldom used. Conclusions: NCD prevention will benefit from cross-referencing and comparison between risk factors of findings on the most effective policies and interventions – considering scope of impact and cost to implement. The alcohol experience provides insights, as well as cautions.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Compare policies and interventions focusing on four risk factors for non-commmunicable disease (NCD): alcohol consumption, tobaco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity. Assess the relevance of the alcohol experience - both effective controls and erosion of controls for policies reducing the other three risk factors Identify benefits of cross-referencing and comparison of current and potential interventions across risk factors to reduce NCD

Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Chronic Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on policy issues for over 30 years, both as a researcher and an advocate, and participated in previous analyses that examined several risk factors for chronic disease
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.