Our health is influenced by the conditions we are born, grow, live, work and age in – the wider determinants of health. These include commercial determinants of health and health inequalities.  

The main causes of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) include consumption of unhealthy commodities such as tobacco, alcohol, or foods high in fat, salt and/or sugar. Exposure to these is preventable but also highly profitable to the companies involved. Their consumption, health and social impacts are inequitable, and are driven by the complex systems of production, distribution and promotion.  

On Wednesday 24 November we held the third webinar in this series sharing emerging findings from UKPRP-funded projects and exploring their implications for policy. Speakers from the SPECTRUM consortium shared new evidence to inform the prevention of NCDs caused by unhealthy commodities focusing initially on tobacco and alcohol but extending work to unhealthy food and drinks. The research aims to transform policy and practice to encourage and enable healthy environments and behaviours. 


  • David Crosby, Head of Prevention and Early Detection, Cancer Research UK 
  • Linda Bauld, SPECTRUM Consortium Director 
  • Niamh Shortt, Professor of Health Geographies, University of Edinburgh 

Watch the recording:

The SPECTRUM Consortium includes the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sheffield, Stirling, King's College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London and the Australian National University. It also includes the main public health agencies (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, NHS Health Scotland and Public Health Wales) in Great Britain.  Additionally, partners include The Retail Data Partnership and the Alcohol Health Alliance, Smokefree Action Coalition, Obesity Health Alliance, NCD Alliance and the Poverty Alliance. 

SPECTRUM is funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP).  

The UKPRP is a £50 million multi-funder initiative that supports novel, multidisciplinary research into the primary prevention of non-communicable diseases, to improve population health and reduce health inequalities. The UKPRP made its first round of awards in 2019, including to SPECTRUM. A further round of awards has recently been announced.  

This webinar was the third in a series of four over the autumn in which emerging learning from the UKPRP funded projects is being shared. 

Further reading


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