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

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


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.

MeSH terms

  • Automobiles
  • Consumer Advocacy
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Food Additives / adverse effects
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Industry / organization & administration*
  • Lactones / adverse effects
  • Life Style
  • Marketing / organization & administration
  • Politics
  • Public Health*
  • Sulfones / adverse effects
  • Trans Fatty Acids / adverse effects


  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Food Additives
  • Lactones
  • Sulfones
  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • rofecoxib