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Seven-year itch: The UK Government's difficult relationship with the food and drink industry since Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Call to Action on Obesity in England (2011)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Emily OliverORCiD


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© 2019 The Authors.Objective: Unhealthy food and drink consumption is associated with a range of physical and mental health concerns. In response, public health policies have been developed targeting a reduction in obesity in particular. In the present commentary we argue that government-industry partnerships have reduced the effectiveness of resultant policies and explore why. Design: Perspectives of authors. Setting: UK. Participants: Populations in the UK; UK Government. Results: Industry involvement has presented three interrelated challenges for the UK Government: (i) balancing collaboration while maintaining appropriate distance from industry stakeholders; (ii) resultant production of 'watertight' and effective legislation or intervention; and (iii) actual or perceived limited sanctioning or bargaining power. Conclusions: Industry involvement in public health policy making has led to weak action. Support with policy implementation (rather than development) and genuine 'buy-in' from industry could accelerate the pace of public health improvement.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Flint SW, Oliver EJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Public Health Nutrition

Year: 2019

Volume: 22

Issue: 7

Pages: 1326-1329

Print publication date: 01/05/2019

Online publication date: 06/03/2019

Acceptance date: 03/01/2019

ISSN (print): 1368-9800

ISSN (electronic): 1475-2727

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1368980019000053

PubMed id: 30838965


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