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Benchmarking food and beverage companies on obesity prevention and nutrition policies: evaluation of the BIA-Obesity Australia Initiative, 2017-2019

Robinson, Ella, Blake, Miranda R and Sacks, Gary 2020, Benchmarking food and beverage companies on obesity prevention and nutrition policies: evaluation of the BIA-Obesity Australia Initiative, 2017-2019, International journal of health policy and management, pp. 1-14, doi: 10.34172/ijhpm.2020.147.

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Title Benchmarking food and beverage companies on obesity prevention and nutrition policies: evaluation of the BIA-Obesity Australia Initiative, 2017-2019
Author(s) Robinson, EllaORCID iD for Robinson, Ella orcid.org/0000-0003-1960-0703
Blake, Miranda RORCID iD for Blake, Miranda R orcid.org/0000-0002-0649-2320
Sacks, GaryORCID iD for Sacks, Gary orcid.org/0000-0001-9736-1539
Journal name International journal of health policy and management
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher Kerman University of Medical Sciences
Place of publication Kerman, Iran
Publication date 2020-08-22
ISSN 2322-5939
2322-5939
Keyword(s) Benchmarking Food Companies
Obesity Prevention
Nutrition Policy
Organisational Change
Australia
Summary Background: The potential role of the food and beverage industry in addressing diet-related disease is much debated, particularly amidst evidence of the targeted strategies, including voluntary self-regulation, used by the industry to influence policy in their favour. At the same time, the need for more comprehensive action to address unhealthy diets has led to a focus on increasing the accountability of different stakeholders. However, there has been limited evaluation of the impact of accountability initiatives on food and beverage company policies and practices. This study evaluated the impact of the BIA-Obesity (Business Impact Assessment – Obesity and population nutrition) Australia Initiative that benchmarked major Australian food and beverage companies on their nutrition-related policies. Methods: Evaluation was conducted against the pre-specified logic model for BIA-Obesity and established frameworks for analysing organisational change and corporate political activity. Outcomes evaluated included company engagement with the Initiative, level of media coverage, and impact of the Initiative on company policies and practices based on the perspectives of company representatives. A mixed methods design was employed, including surveys and in-depth interviews with company representatives, and media reports. Results: Approximately half of invited companies participated in the evaluation of the BIA-Obesity Australia Initiative. A number of company representatives indicated that the Initiative had influenced their company’s nutrition policies, strategies, and disclosure practices, and had raised their company’s awareness of the importance of addressing nutrition issues. Conclusion: Company representatives perceive benchmarking and accountability initiatives as helpful for provoking improvements in nutrition-related policies and practices in their companies. However, the benefits of these initiatives need to be assessed in the context of the broader political and economic environment. Whilst the focus of accountability initiatives, such as BIA-Obesity, are on industry self-regulation efforts, they can also play an important role in drawing attention to the need for increased government regulation.
Language eng
DOI 10.34172/ijhpm.2020.147
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30142498

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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.