Reducing the Role of the Food, Tobacco, and Alcohol Industries in Noncommunicable Disease Risk in South Africa

Peter Delobelle, David Sanders, Thandi Puoane, Nicholas Freudenberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) impose a growing burden on the health, economy, and development of South Africa. According to the World Health Organization, four risk factors, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity, account for a significant proportion of major NCDs. We analyze the role of tobacco, alcohol, and food corporations in promoting NCD risk and unhealthy lifestyles in South Africa and in exacerbating inequities in NCD distribution among populations. Through their business practices such as product design, marketing, retail distribution, and pricing and their business practices such as lobbying, public relations, philanthropy, and sponsored research, national and transnational corporations in South Africa shape the social and physical environments that structure opportunities for NCD risk behavior. Since the election of a democratic government in 1994, the South African government and civil society groups have used regulation, public education, health services, and community mobilization to modify corporate practices that increase NCD risk. By expanding the practice of health education to include activities that seek to modify the practices of corporations as well as individuals, South Africa can reduce the growing burden of NCDs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)70s-81s
    Number of pages12
    JournalHealth Education & Behavior
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • social determinants
    • health policy
    • diet
    • tobacco control and policy
    • alcohol and substance abuse


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