Big food and the World Health Organization: a qualitative study of industry attempts to influence global-level non-communicable disease policy

This study explores the extent of which the players in the ultra-processed food industry have attempted to influence the global policy on non-communicable disease (NCD) at WHO 

Quick takes:

  • The interference of the food industry to influence policies aimed at reducing NCDs is widely documented on the national level, but not on the global level
  • Evidence show that the ultra-processed food industry has consistently engaged in political activities at the national level, through direct lobbying, independent third parties, and the production or strategic use of evidence; that which is similar to approaches followed by the tobacco industry
  • This study shows that attempts to influence WHO and its policies were mainly through action-based strategies like coalition management, involvement in policy formulation, and information management
  • A need for increased awareness of and safeguarding against commercial interference to influence NCD policy was identified as having the potential to strengthen the work of WHO on a global level

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