Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ted Schrecker
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The growing prevalence of NCDs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is now recognized as one of the major global health policy issues of the early 21st century. Current official approaches reflect ambivalence about how health policy should approach the social determinants of health identified by the WHO Commission on the topic that released its report in 2008, and in particular the role of macro-scale economic and social processes. Authoritative framing of options for NCD prevention in advance of the September, 2011 UN high-level meeting on NCDs arguably relied on a selective reading of the scientific (including social scientific) evidence, and foregrounded a limited number of risk factors defined in terms of individual behavior: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, alcohol (ab)use and physical inactivity. The effect was to reproduce at a transnational level the individualization of responsibility for health that characterizes most health promotion initiatives in high-income countries, ignoring both the limited control that many people have over their exposure to these risk factors and the contribution of macro-scale processes like trade liberalization and the marketing activities of transnational corporations to the global burden of NCDs. An alternative perspective focuses on "the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources" described by the WHO Commission, and the ways in which policies that address those inequities can avoid unintentional incorporation of neoliberal constructions of risk and responsibility.
Author(s): Glasgow S, Schrecker T
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Health and Place
Print publication date: 01/07/2015
Online publication date: 25/06/2015
Acceptance date: 15/06/2015
ISSN (print): 1353-8292
ISSN (electronic): 1873-2054
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
PubMed id: 26117651
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