Agnogenic practices and corporate political strategy: The legitimation of UK gambling industry-funded youth education programmes

May C.I. Van Schalkwyk*, Benjamin Hawkins, Mark Petticrew, Nason Maani, Amandine Garde, Aaron Reeves, Martin McKee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Agnogenic practices - designed to create ignorance or doubt - are well-established strategies employed by health-harming industries (HHI). However, little is known about their use by industry-funded organizations delivering youth education programmes. We applied a previously published framework of corporate agnogenic practices to analyse how these organizations used them in three UK gambling industry-funded youth education programmes. Evidential strategies adopted previously by other HHI are prominent in the programmes' practitioner-facing materials, evaluation design and reporting and in public statements about the programmes. We show how agnogenic practices are employed to portray these youth education programmes as 'evidence-based' and 'evaluation-led'. These practices distort the already limited evidence on these educational initiatives while legitimizing industry-favourable policies, which prioritize commercial interests over public health. Given the similarities in political strategies adopted by different industries, these findings are relevant to research and policy on other HHI.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaad196
JournalHealth Promotion International
Volume39
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • agnogenic practices
  • children
  • commercial determinants of health
  • evidence
  • health policy

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