Public health advocacy to change corporate practices: implications for health education practice and research

Health Educ Behav. 2005 Jun;32(3):298-319; discussion 355-62. doi: 10.1177/1090198105275044.


Corporate practices, such as advertising, public relations, lobbying, litigation, and sponsoring scientific research, have a significant impact on the health of the people in the United States. Recently, health professionals and advocates have created a new scope of practice that aims to modify corporate practices that harm health. This article describes how corporate policies influence health and reviews recent health campaigns aimed at changing corporate behavior in six industries selected for their central role in the U.S. economy and their influence on major causes of mortality and morbidity. These are the alcohol, automobile, food, gun, pharmaceutical, and tobacco industries. The article defines corporate disease promotion and illustrates the range of public health activities that have emerged to counter such corporate behaviors. It analyzes the role of health professionals, government, and advocacy groups in these campaigns and assesses the implications of this domain for health education practice and research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Advocacy*
  • Health Education*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Industry / ethics
  • Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Industry / organization & administration*
  • Information Dissemination
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizational Policy
  • Politics
  • Public Health Administration*
  • Social Control Policies*
  • United States