Background and Objective: Interventions are needed to prevent and mitigate unhealthy commodity industry (UCI) influence on policy, which poses a significant barrier to advancing effective policy. Whilst literature on interventions to address such influence is beginning to emerge, current conceptualisations may be incomplete as they fail to consider the wider systemic complexities surrounding UCI influence, such as industry adaptivity or its enabling factors. This study aims to apply a systems thinking lens to explore possible interventions that could help address UCs influence on policy. 

Methods: A series of workshops were conducted between November 2021 and February 2022 with stakeholders from academia, industry monitoring groups, civil society, government, and intergovernmental organisations with expertise in UCIs. Stakeholders identified and discussed possible interventions to effectively address UCI influence on policy. Workshop data were coded and analysed using NVivo. 

Results: A total of fifty-two stakeholders participated in twenty-three online workshops. Preliminary results collated 43 groups of interventions that aim to decrease: direct access to public sector decision makers; confusion and doubt about policy decisions; industry’s ability to prioritise their growth and profits; industry’s ability to leverage legal and dispute settlement processes; and industry’s ability to leverage policymaking, norms, rules, and laws in their favour. In addition, stakeholders suggested leadership, and coordination and cooperation between stakeholders as key actions to achieve interventions. 

Conclusions: Workshops identified a disparate and heterogenous range of interventions. The complexities surrounding UCIs influence suggest that interventions need to: work in concurrently in different parts of the system; apply to broad policymaking processes, not just particular industries; strengthen intermediary actions to achieve change; and target system structures, such as sources of corporate power beyond policymaking processes, which may be overlooked without a systems lens. Government, public health, and civil society actors could consider investing time and resources to support or advance these interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2023
Event17th World Congress on Public Health: A World In Turmoil - Rome, Italy
Duration: 2 May 20236 May 2023


Conference17th World Congress on Public Health
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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