Panel Discussion
series event

Influence or information? Advertising & healthcare professionals

“Commercial determinants of health” are an increasing problem for both national and global public health. Along with tobacco and pharmaceutical advertising, the promotion of ‘infant formula’ milk and other breastmilk substitutes (BMS) has long been a contentious issue.  

Following a high profile 2018 investigation by Dr Chris Van Tulleken, the British Medical Journal publishing group recently announced a landmark decision to stop advertising BMS. However, numerous other journals aimed at healthcare professionals continue to carry such advertisements. Some argue that these are needed to provide information, especially on specialist feeding products.

During this evening event, three speakers will outline their research on the BMS industry and its engagement with healthcare professionals. This will be followed by a panel discussion on how to ensure that healthcare professionals can have independent, evidence-based information that is needed to practice in a way that avoids commercial influence. You are all invited to join us, continuing conversations at the Pumphandle Bar afterward.


The event is open to all interested in child health, nutrition and public health.     


About the speakers

Chris Van Tulleken is an infectious diseases doctor and an associate professor at UCL in the Division of Infection. Part of his research focuses on conflicts of interest. Over the last decade, together with his twin brother and fellow doctor, Xand, Chris has presented some of the BBC's flagship series about health and medicine including the BAFTA winning Operation Ouch on CBBC. Chris took the Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene at LSHTM in 2006.

Natalie Hickman is a recent graduate of the MSc Nutrition for Global Health at LSHTM who has extensive experience working in infant feeding support in the UK. Her MSc research explored the prevalence of breastmilk substitute advertisements in magazines and journals aimed at UK health professionals and the extent to which they complied with WHO regulations.   

Vicky Sibson is Deputy Director of First Steps Nutrition Trust, an independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years. Vicky is an LSHTM alumni who has spent most of her career working as a nutrition adviser in international NGOs, largely in humanitarian settings, where she gained a particular interest in and passion for infant and young child nutrition.            


This session will be-live-streamed and recorded

Watch this session live




Open to all, seats available on first come, first served basis.