10 October 2022
A small study, supported by SPECTRUM and led by the Smokefree Action Coalition, Obesity Health Alliance and Alcohol Health Alliance, explores the scope for government, public health professionals and health advocates to take a more integrated approach to tackling the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
In practice, this can take various forms ranging from greater coordination between partners, through coherence to full integration of campaigning or policy-making.
As smoking, drinking and the consumption of unhealthy food and drink all have powerful commercial determinants, there is a case for tackling these determinants in a more joined-up way. It has been argued that the commercial determinants of health are addressed most effectively not through siloed efforts to reduce consumption of health-harming products, but instead as a set of integrated strategies to reduce exposures to health-harming commercial actors and activities.
The findings of the study reveal the complexity and contingency of the contexts in which professionals, politicians and advocates are addressing NCDs, NCD risk factors, and the commercial determinants of health. Although there are good reasons for taking a more integrated approach to tackling NCD risk factors, the potential problems of doing so are also significant, and the balance between the two plays out in different ways in different contexts.
Read the report