Food and drink companies' dodgy tactics exposed in new report

Leading food, drink and alcohol companies use aggressive marketing tactics similar to tobacco companies to undermine public health interventions and are now the major drivers of the world's growing epidemic of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, say public health researchers.

Tactics include cosying up to health professionals, paying large amounts of money to affiliate themselves with leading health bodies, lobbying governments to block health regulations and distorting research findings, according to a damning report published in The Lancet.

Lead author Rob Moodie, professor of public health at the University of Melbourne, said published research that had been funded by industry had a 'systematic bias': 'We found that articles sponsored exclusively by food and drinks companies were between four and eight times more likely to have conclusions that favoured the companies than those not sponsored by them.'

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See the Lancet article Moodie R et al, Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries, The Lancet, 12 February 2013

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