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J Public Health Policy. 2008 Apr;29(1):86-104; discussion 105. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200158.

The impact of corporate practices on health: implications for health policy.

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  • 1Hunter College, Public Health, New York, NY 10010, USA.


Although corporate practices play a substantial role in shaping health and health behavior, public health researchers have rarely systematically studied these practices as a social determinant of health. We consider case studies of three products - trans fat, a food additive and a preservative; Vioxx, a pain killer; and sports utility vehicles - to illustrate the role of corporate policies and practices in the production of health and disease and the implications for health policy. In recent years, public health advocates, researchers, and lawyers have used strategies to reduce the adverse health impact of corporate practices. Systematic analysis of these experiences yields insights that can guide the development of health policies that increase opportunities for primary prevention by discouraging harmful corporate practices.

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