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Commercial determinants of health are decisions made by private companies and corporations which influence health. Corporate activities shape our environments and determine the availability, promotion, and pricing of products and services (1).


Commercial Risk/Pro

Risk and/or Protective Factor

The commercial determinants of health concentrate on the power that large, private corporations, capitalist structures, and companies have in shaping health (2). As the focus is on profit, private companies may promote products that can harm mental health and well-being, like of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. Corporations may to advertising products in a way that shifts norms to promote consumption of these goods, or may lobby governments to create policies which support profit, often at the expense of health and well-being.  (3). Visit the Media & Advertising and Health Behaviours determinant pages for more information.

As the aim for corporations is profit, the current model increases inequality. Harmful commodities disproportionally affect disadvantaged populations (4) and industries deliberately target these groups in their advertisements (5,6). Visit the (In)equality & (In)equity determinant page for more information.

Also, the degradation of natural environments and exploiting natural resources for profit can also be driven by commercial pressures (7). This can have a further impact on mental health. Visit the Built & Natural Environment determinant page. 



1.       Ireland, Robin et al. “Commercial determinants of health: advertising of alcohol and unhealthy foods during sporting events.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization vol. 97,4 (2019): 290-295. doi:10.2471/BLT.18.220087

2.       Maani N, Collin J, Friel S, Gilmore AB, McCambridge J, Robertson L, et al. Bringing the commercial determinants of health out of the shadows: a review of how the commercial determinants are represented in conceptual frameworks. Eur J Public Health [Internet]. 2020 Aug 1 [cited 2021 Feb 23];30(4):660–4. Available from:

3.        Mialon M. An overview of the commercial determinants of health. Global Health [Internet]. 2020 Aug 17 [cited 2021 Feb 23];16(1):74. Available from:

4.        Bloomfield K. Understanding the alcohol-harm paradox: what next? Lancet Public Heal [Internet]. 2020 Jun 1;5(6):e300–1. Available from:

5.        Harris JL, Frazier III W, Kumanyika S, Ramirez AG. Increasing disparities in unhealthy food advertising targeted to Hispanic and Black youth. 2019 Jan.

6.        Davis RM, Gilpin EA, Barbara Loken M, Viswanath K, Wakefi eld MA. Monograph 19: The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use. Bethesda, MD; 2008 Jun.

7.        Pérez-Del-Pulgar C, Anguelovski I, Cole HVS, et al. The relationship between residential proximity to outdoor play spaces and children's mental and behavioral health: The importance of neighborhood socio-economic characteristics [published online ahead of print, 2021 May 21]. Environ Res. 2021;200:111326. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2021.111326


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