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PLoS Medicine Issue Image | Vol. 9(6) June 2012

PLoS Medicine Issue Image | Vol. 9(6) June 2012

PLOS
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The PLoS Medicine series on Big Food.

The PLoS Medicine series on Big Food, launched earlier this month, aims to examine and stimulate debate about the activities and influence of the food industry in global health. We define “Big Food” as the multinational food and beverage industry with huge and concentrated market power. The series adopts a multidisciplinary approach and includes critical perspectives from around the world. It represents one of first times such issues have been examined in the general medical literature.

In this month's Editorial to launch the series, the PLoS Medicine Editors discuss the rationale and process of commissioning articles for the series. As they note, industry in health has long fascinated PLoS Medicine but the journal's focus on Big Food is new. Food, unlike tobacco and drugs, is necessary to live and is central to health and disease. And yet the big multinational food companies control what people everywhere eat, resulting in a stark and sick irony: one billion people on the planet are hungry while two billion are obese or overweight. The guest editors, Marion Nestle and David Stuckler, then lay out a background on the role of Big Food in global health, and offer three competing views of how public health professionals can respond. Subsequent articles include: a comparison of soda companies' corporate social responsibility campaigns with those of the tobacco industry; an analysis of the rapid rise of Big Food sales in developing countries; an essay on food sovereignty and who holds power over food; views from South America and Africa on the displacement of traditional diets by the incursion of multinational food companies; and a perspective arguing against an uncritical acceptance of the food industry in health. View the Big Food Collection page at www.ploscollections.org/bigfood.

Image Credit: Original image by Todd Hryckowian at flickr.com, with enhancements by Lizzy Parisotto, PLoS.

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The PLoS Medicine series on Big Food.

The PLoS Medicine series on Big Food, launched earlier this month, aims to examine and stimulate debate about the activities and influence of the food industry in global health. We define “Big Food” as the multinational food and beverage industry with huge and concentrated market power. The series adopts a multidisciplinary approach and includes critical perspectives from around the world. It represents one of first times such issues have been examined in the general medical literature.

In this month's Editorial to launch the series, the PLoS Medicine Editors discuss the rationale and process of commissioning articles for the series. As they note, industry in health has long fascinated PLoS Medicine but the journal's focus on Big Food is new. Food, unlike tobacco and drugs, is necessary to live and is central to health and disease. And yet the big multinational food companies control what people everywhere eat, resulting in a stark and sick irony: one billion people on the planet are hungry while two billion are obese or overweight. The guest editors, Marion Nestle and David Stuckler, then lay out a background on the role of Big Food in global health, and offer three competing views of how public health professionals can respond. Subsequent articles include: a comparison of soda companies' corporate social responsibility campaigns with those of the tobacco industry; an analysis of the rapid rise of Big Food sales in developing countries; an essay on food sovereignty and who holds power over food; views from South America and Africa on the displacement of traditional diets by the incursion of multinational food companies; and a perspective arguing against an uncritical acceptance of the food industry in health. View the Big Food Collection page at www.ploscollections.org/bigfood.

Image Credit: Original image by Todd Hryckowian at flickr.com, with enhancements by Lizzy Parisotto, PLoS.

https://doi.org/10.1371/image.pmed.v09.i06.g001