Changing corporate practices to reduce cancer disparities

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2008 Feb;19(1):26-40. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2008.0012.


While reducing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in cancer mortality has been identified as a national goal, current policies are unlikely to achieve it. In order to advance the development of policies for the primary prevention of cancer and cancer disparities, we propose that the practices of the tobacco, alcohol, and food industries be considered as modifiable social determinants of health. We review evidence that the practices of these industries in product design, marketing, retail distribution, and pricing contribute to cancer risk behavior, incidence, and disparities, then examine public health strategies designed to reduce health-damaging practices of these industries and encourage healthier alternatives. We conclude with recommendations for research, practice, and policy that could contribute to the development of less carcinogenic corporate practices.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Food Industry / organization & administration
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Marketing / organization & administration
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Industry / organization & administration