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Table of Contents: PLoS Medicine Series on Big Food

COVER

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 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 multi-disciplinary 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.

The PLoS Medicine Editors begin the series with an editorial discussing 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 to 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. www.ploscollections.org/bigfood

Editorial

Essays

Big Food, Food Systems, and Global Health

David Stuckler, Marion Nestle

Perspective

Policy Forums

Soda and Tobacco Industry Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns: How Do They Compare?

Lori Dorfman, Andrew Cheyne, Lissy C. Friedman, Asiya Wadud, Mark Gottlieb

“Big Food,” the Consumer Food Environment, Health, and the Policy Response in South Africa

Ehimario U. Igumbor, David Sanders, Thandi R. Puoane, Lungiswa Tsolekile, Cassandra Schwarz, Christopher Purdy, Rina Swart, Solange Durão, Corinna Hawkes