Political economy, trade relations and health inequalities: Lessons from general health

Sharon Friel, Lisa Jamieson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    This article argues that health outcomes, specifically nutrition related health outcomes, are socially determined, and can be linked to a wider political economy in which peoples’ dietary consumption is structurally determined, evolving from political, economic and social forces. The article examines trade and investment agreements as regulatory vehicles that cultivate poor dietary consumption and inequalities in health outcomes between and within countries. How does this happen? The liberalization of trade and investment, and unfettered influence of powerful economic interests including transnational food and beverage companies has resulted in trade agreements that enable excess availability, affordability and acceptability of highly processed, nutrient poor foods worldwide, ultimately resulting in poor nutrition and consequently oral and other non-communicable diseases. These trade and nutrition policy tensions shine a spotlight on the challenges ahead for global health and development policies, including achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)152-156
    Number of pages5
    JournalCommunity Dental Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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