“Misinformation, pseudoscience and the unhealthy commodity industries” by Professor Mark Petticrew from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The history of industry misinformation is well-documented – particularly tobacco industry denial of the link between smoking and ill health. Similar misinformation strategies are commonly used by the alcohol, food, fossil fuel, pesticide and other industries. It has been suggested that this reflects a cross-industry “playbook” that such industries use to distract from their harms and to delay effective monitoring and regulation. In this talk, Professor Mark Petticrew will outline the strategies some industries are using to misinform us and consider how these can be combatted.
Reducing consumption of drinks which contain high levels of sugar or alcohol could improve population health. There is increasing interest in changing behaviour by changing cues in environments – sometimes called nudging. The shape of a glass is one such cue that can influence how much we drink. Published in Scientific Reports on 7th August 2020, this paper presents three laboratory experiments investigating the impact of glass shape (straight-sided vs outward-sloped) on drinking soft drinks.
Face coverings, if worn correctly, can reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Concerns have been raised, however, that wearing face coverings might lead people to forgo other protective behaviours, such as frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance from others, sometimes called risk compensation. In our new BMJ paper, we examine the evidence for this concern.