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Commercial Determinants Research Group

The CDRG conducts research on the effects of unhealthy commodities, and on the tactics used by their manufacturers. It also researches the misinformation strategies used by harmful industries.

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Commercial determinants of health

These are the strategies and approaches used by the private sector to manufacture and sell products that are detrimental to health have been termed the “commercial determinants of health”. 

The field of the commercial determinants of health is still emerging, but represents an effort to systematize efforts to observe, understand, and ultimately confront the drivers, strategies, tactics and societal impacts of commercially driven disease.  The Commercial Determinants Research Group, based in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at LSHTM, conducts research in this areas. Its projects include research on a range of industries – including the tobacco, alcohol and food industries, and the fossil fuel and gun industries among others, as well as research on the use of similar tactics by parts of the healthcare industry. It also researches the cross-industry playbooks used by harmful commodity industries.

Our research
  • Corporate/commercial tactics to influence on policy/practice/science, including the use of misinformation
  • Analysis/evaluation of the effects of commercial activities, campaigns and products (on health but also on other outcomes - e.g. policymaking, guidelines)
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Application of methodological approaches e.g. discourse analysis; and
  • Systems thinking in research on commercial determinants 
About us
About CDRG 2 columns
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We are a multidisciplinary group of public health researchers within the faculty of Public Health and Policy at LSHTM. This website provides a focus for our research, which has a strong focus on corporate influence on health and health inequalities. We have a particular misinformation strategies  - the industry ‘playbook.’ 

Research CDRG 2 columns
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Our work covers many industries – recent studies have examined the tactics of the alcohol and tobacco industries, the food industry, the firearms industry, the fossil fuel industry, and others. Other research is focussed on alcohol advertising, and conflicts of interest.

Publications List
Public health emergency or opportunity to profit? The two faces of the COVID-19 pandemic.
van Schalkwyk MC, Maani N, McKee M.
Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2021 Feb;9(2):61-63.
Taking the Long View: COVID-19 Priorities for the Biden Administration
Galea S, Ettman CK, Maani N, Abdalla SM
J Health Polit Policy Law. 2021 Jan 22:8970781. doi: 10.1215/03616878-8970781. Online ahead of print.
Responsible Drinking, Conflicts of Interest, and the Elephant in the Room: A Commentary on A Scoping Review of "Responsible Drinking" Interventions.
Petticrew M, Fitzgerald N, Maani N, McCambridge J, Pettigrew S, van Schalkwyk M.
Health Commun. 2021 Feb;36(2):257-259
Dark Nudges and Sludge in Big Alcohol: Behavioral Economics, Cognitive Biases, and Alcohol Industry Corporate Social Responsibility.
Petticrew M, Maani N, Pettigrew L, Rutter H, VAN Schalkwyk MC. Milbank Q.
Wiley. 2020 Dec;98(4):1290-1328.
The Firearm Industry as a Commercial Determinant of Health.
Maani N, Abdalla SM, Galea S.
Am J Public Health. 2020 Aug;110(8):1182-1183