Online Program

Addictive behaviors, corporations, and the prevention of chronic illnesses and disorders: global problem and successful interventions

Monday, November 4, 2013: 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Two recent developments are creating a sea change in the field of addiction-related chronic illness and disorders. First, positron emission tomography (PET) scans for dopamine and other receptors and studies of environmental triggers have shown that addiction-like behaviors are associated with a much greater number of conditions than initially thought, including highly prevalent ones such as obesity and diabetes. Second, studies of large, often multi-national corporations have shown how, in their quest for profits, they contribute to environments that promote addiction to their products. This is a major global concern. There has been a worldwide increase in the prevalence of addictions to drugs, tobacco, alcohol, soft drinks, foods in obese persons, or gambling. Preventive interventions have generally been at the level of consumer behavior and proximal environment, but their effects have been limited by resistance of the involved neural pathways and environmental changes induced by large and powerful corporations that promote addictive behaviors. This session addresses the need to have a balanced approach that neglects neither individual initiative nor regulation of relevant corporate actions. It highlights upstream environmental factors that have been neglected compared to other factors. The papers include a theoretical framework for a unified analysis of corporate strategies and relevant public health policies, empirical studies of interaction between persons, technology, and corporations in machine gambling; assessment of efficacy and feasibility of alcohol control policies and of the countervailing power of governmental policies in the instance of cigarette smoking. In each instance the global problem and efficacious interventions are highlighted.
Session Objectives: Assess the global health and social effects of a broad scope of addictive disorders. Describe the interactions between individuals, machines/technology, environment, and corporations in addictive behavior. Compare different types of policy intervention and explain their relationships to specific corporate strategies. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of several policies that address different corporate strategies.
Diane L. Adams, MD, MPH, DABCHS, CHS-III


See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Conference of Emeritus Members
Endorsed by: International Health, Mental Health, Socialist Caucus, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)