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Benchmarking the transparency, comprehensiveness and specificity of population nutrition commitments of major food companies in Malaysia

Ng, SeeHoe, Sacks, Gary, Kelly, Bridget, Yeatman, Heather, Robinson, Ella, Swinburn, Boyd, Vandevijvere, Stefanie, Chinna, Karuthan, Ismail, Mohd Noor and Karupaiah, Tilakavati 2020, Benchmarking the transparency, comprehensiveness and specificity of population nutrition commitments of major food companies in Malaysia, Globalization and health, vol. 16, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1186/s12992-020-00560-9.

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Title Benchmarking the transparency, comprehensiveness and specificity of population nutrition commitments of major food companies in Malaysia
Author(s) Ng, SeeHoe
Sacks, GaryORCID iD for Sacks, Gary orcid.org/0000-0001-9736-1539
Kelly, Bridget
Yeatman, Heather
Robinson, EllaORCID iD for Robinson, Ella orcid.org/0000-0003-1960-0703
Swinburn, Boyd
Vandevijvere, Stefanie
Chinna, Karuthan
Ismail, Mohd Noor
Karupaiah, Tilakavati
Journal name Globalization and health
Volume number 16
Article ID 35
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher BMC
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 1744-8603
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Population nutrition
Obesity
Non-communicable diseases
Commitments
Food company
Accountability
Policy
PROPOSED APPROACH
POLICIES
PREVENTION
INDUSTRY
MONITOR
Summary Background: The aim of this study was to assess the commitments of food companies in Malaysia to improving population nutrition using the Business Impact Assessment on population nutrition and obesity (BIA-Obesity) tool and process, and proposing recommendations for industry action in line with government priorities and international norms. Methods: BIA-Obesity good practice indicators for food industry commitments across a range of domains (n = 6) were adapted to the Malaysian context. Euromonitor market share data was used to identify major food and non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers (n = 22), quick service restaurants (5), and retailers (6) for inclusion in the assessment. Evidence of commitments, including from national and international entities, were compiled from publicly available information for each company published between 2014 and 2017. Companies were invited to review their gathered evidence and provide further information wherever available. A qualified Expert Panel (≥5 members for each domain) assessed commitments and disclosures collected against the BIA-Obesity scoring criteria. Weighted scores across domains were added and the derived percentage was used to rank companies. A Review Panel, comprising of the Expert Panel and additional government officials (n = 13), then formulated recommendations. Results: Of the 33 selected companies, 6 participating companies agreed to provide more information. The median overall BIA-Obesity score was 11% across food industry sectors with only 8/33 companies achieving a score of > 25%. Participating (p < 0.001) and global (p = 0.036) companies achieved significantly higher scores than non-participating, and national or regional companies, respectively. Corporate strategy related to population nutrition (median score of 28%) was the highest scoring domain, while product formulation, accessibility, and promotion domains scored the lowest (median scores < 10%). Recommendations included the establishment of clear targets for product formulation, and strong commitments to reduce the exposure of children to promotion of unhealthy foods. Conclusions: This is the first BIA-Obesity study to benchmark the population nutrition commitments of major food companies in Asia. Commitments of companies were generally vague and non-specific. In the absence of strong government regulation, an accountability framework, such as provided by the BIA-Obesity, is essential to monitor and benchmark company action to improve population nutrition.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12992-020-00560-9
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1117 Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30136785

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.