How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention

Document Type: Perspective

Authors

1 School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

2 Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Abstract

Alcohol, tobacco, and unhealthy foods contribute greatly to the global burden of non-communicable disease (NCD). Member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) have recognized the critical need to address these three key risk factors through global action plans and policy recommendations. The 2013-2020 WHO action plan identifies the need to engage economic, agricultural and other relevant sectors to establish comprehensive and coherent policy. To date one of the biggest barriers to action is not so much identifying affective policies, but rather how a comprehensive policy approach to NCD prevention can be established across sectors. Much of the research on policy incoherence across sectors has focused on exposing the strategies used by commercial interests to shape public policy in their favor. Although the influence of commercial interests on government decisions remains an important issue for policy coherence, we argue, that the dominant neoliberal policy paradigm continues to enable the ability of these interests to influence public policy. In this paper, we examine how this dominant paradigm and the way it has been enshrined in institutional mechanisms has given rise to existing systems of governance of product environments, and how these systems create structural barriers to the introduction of meaningful policy action to prevent NCDs by fostering healthy product environments. Work to establish policy coherence across sectors, particularly to ensure a healthy product environment, will require systematic engagement with the assumptions that continue to structure institutions that perpetuate unhealthy product environments.

Highlights

Commentaries Published on this Paper

 

  • Neo-Liberalism, Policy Incoherence and Discourse Coalitions Influencing Non-Communicable Disease Strategy; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

  • Towards Critical Analysis of the Political Determinants of Health; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

  • Paradigm Shift: New Ideas for a Structural Approach to NCD Prevention; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

  • Neoliberalism 4.0: The Rise of Illiberal Capitalism; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

  • On the Perils of Universal and Product-Led Thinking; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

  • A Systems Thinking Approach to Inform Coherent Policy Action for NCD Prevention; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

  • Next Steps for Elevating Health on Trade and Investment Policy Agendas; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

  • Understanding Structure and Agency as Commercial Determinants of Health; Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”

          Abstract | PDF

 

 Authors' Response to the Commentaries

 

  • Developing a Research Agenda for the Analysis of Product Supply: A Response to the Recent Commentaries

           Abstract | PDF

Keywords

Main Subjects


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