Private Sector Policies and Actions

Private-sector organizations play a critical role in shaping the food environments of individuals and populations. Business Impact Assessment for Obesity (BIA-Obesity) is a step-wise approach to data collection is recommended for INFORMAS:

  • The first (‘minimal’) step is the collation of publicly available food and nutrition-related policies of selected private-sector organisations.
  • The second (‘expanded’) step assesses the nutritional composition of each organisation’s products, their promotions to children, their labelling practices, and the accessibility, availability and affordability of their products.
  • The third (‘optimal’) step includes data on other commercial activities that may influence food environments, such as political lobbying and corporate philanthropy.

In 2017, the obesity prevention and nutrition related policies and commitments of 25 food companies in New Zealand and 34 food companies in Australia were assessed using the BIA-Obesity tool and process. There was a wide variation in company scores, as companies varied substantially in the specificity, comprehensiveness and transparency of their policies and commitments. Some companies were performing well in some areas but most could be doing a lot more to create a healthy food environment.

Find out more about the NZ and Australian studies


Dr Gary Sacks

Dr Gary Sacks

Senior Research Fellow

Faculty of Health, Deakin Population Health SRC, Melbourne Burwood Campus,
Deakin University
Melbourne, Australia
Email: Dr Gary Sacks

A proposed approach to monitor private-sector policies and practices related to food environments, obesity and non-communicable disease prevention (pages 38–48) G. Sacks, B. Swinburn, V. Kraak, S. Downs, C. Walker, S. Barquera, S. Friel, C. Hawkes, B. Kelly, S. Kumanyika, M. L’Abbé, A. Lee, T. Lobstein, J. Ma, J. Macmullan, S. Mohan, C. Monteiro, B. Neal, M. Rayner, D. Sanders, W. Snowdon, S. Vandevijvere and INFORMAS

Read the INFORMAS paper online here

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