Shaping Public hEalth poliCies To Reduce IneqUalities and harM
UKPRP award £5.9 million for 5 years, with additional in-kind investment from the consortium’s partners
The consortium will investigate the commercial determinants of health and health inequalities, building on the work of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies by focusing mainly on tobacco and alcohol but extending work to unhealthy food (e.g. high in fat, salt and sugar).
Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health
Linda Bauld is a behavioural scientist with a PhD in social policy whose research focuses on two main areas: the evaluation of complex interventions to improve health, and how research can inform public health policy. Since 2014, she has combined her academic role with a secondment to Cancer Research UK where she holds the CRUK/BUPA Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention. Linda is a former scientific adviser to the UK government on tobacco control and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academy of Social Sciences. She currently chairs or is a member of research funding or policy committees for CRUK, NIHR, MRC, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Public Health England, Health Scotland, Institute for Alcohol Studies, Breast Cancer Now, the Scottish Government and Health Canada.
The consortium will investigate the commercial determinants of health and health inequalities, building on the work of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies by focusing mainly on tobacco and alcohol but extending work to unhealthy food (e.g. high in fat, salt and sugar). The research aims to increase understanding of the complex systems of production, distribution and promotion underlying the consumption of these unhealthy commodities; and understanding of the influence of producers of the commodities on the systems that promote or harm health.
The consortium (SPECTRUM) will evaluate policies and natural experiments implemented in England and the devolved nations, including, for example: the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol and other alcohol policies; proposed restrictions on the number and clustering density of tobacco retailers in Scotland; proposed policies to address key elements of food marketing; and variations in policies arising from ‘Brexit’. Evidence will be generated on the health and economic impacts of policy interventions, including on the wider economy.
The research will also: (i) map the local commercial environments of the commodities and model the impacts (and unintended consequences) of approaches to change those local environments; (ii) examine the relationship between the commodities, mental ill health and stigma, and explore how these could be altered; and (iii) determine how health governance and regulatory mechanisms can enhance NCD prevention policy. The methods and insights derived from the research on alcohol and tobacco will be extended to apply to food where appropriate.
On 25 September 2019 the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) held a kick off meeting with the award holders from the first funding round. Download the slides presented by SPECTRUM (PPT, 3MB).
Membership of the consortium includes:
- More than 20 academic disciplines such as law, economics, political science and geography.
- Research users from Public Health England (PHE), NHS Health Scotland and Public Health Wales as co-investigators, and knowledge brokers seconded from two of these users who are embedded in the consortium.
- Commercial partners – Sandtable and The Retail Data Partnership – will provide data, analytical platforms and skills needed to undertake the research.
- Key multi-agency alliances which aim to improve health and reduce inequalities in the UK and beyond: Alcohol Health Alliance; Obesity Alliance; Smokefree Action Coalition; Poverty Alliance; NCD Alliance.
For further details see the SPECTRUM website.
Professor of Biological Psychology
Senior Lecturer in Alcohol Studies
Professor of Public Health Evaluation
Professor of Public Health
Co-Director, UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group
Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling
Professor of Health Geography
Associate Professor in Health Economics
Professor of Tobacco Addiction
Professor of Global Health Policy
Professor of Epidemiology
Professor of Health Equity
Professor of Health Law and Policy
Reader in Social Sciences and Health
Joint Head, Evidence for Action Team
Director of Health Improvement
Tobacco Control Programme Lead
Director, Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco