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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 2070

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Freudenberg N.
Public health advocacy to change corporate practices: implications for health education practice and research.
Health Educ Behav 2005 Jun; 32:(3):298-319
http://heb.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/32/3/298


Abstract:

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.

Keywords:
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* Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Social Control Policies* United States

 

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909