Understanding the impact of global alcohol companies

Posted 10 Dec 2019

What part do alcohol companies play in the health impacts brought on by alcohol consumption? That’s the focus of a new research study.

Alcohol consumption has long been known to contribute to a raft of health issues. In Australia, alcohol consumption has been causally liked to more than 60 different health conditions and contributes to 3450 deaths per year.

But what part do alcohol companies, in particular transnational corporations (TNCs), play in the health impacts brought on by alcohol consumption? TNCs wield considerable social, economic and political influence across the world and within Australia, and the practices of TNCs (including global alcohol companies) can have powerful positive or adverse effects on population health.

Professor Fran Baum, Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Director of the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University will use a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to examine the health impact of transnational alcohol companies through a corporate health impact assessment.

The revenues of the largest TNCs outstrip those of many national governments, and Professor Baum and her team hope that their research will help us better understand the impact of the strategies they use, which in turn will help us understand the alcohol related harm attributable to these companies.

This research has the potential to benefit all Australians who drink and may be encouraged to do so by the strategies used by alcohol companies

Project title: Methods to assess the health impact of Australian alcohol companies: a pilot study of corporate health impact

Lead researcher: Professor Fran Baum


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