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Nicholas Freudenberg

Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Faculty Co-Director, New York City Food Policy Center, Hunter College, City University of New York

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About Nicholas

Freudenberg studies the health impact of corporate business and political practices on public health. His work focuses on six industries that contribute to the major causes of global premature deaths and preventable illnesses: alcohol, automobile, firearms, food, pharmaceuticals and tobacco. He also analyzes local and global social movement and government responses to harmful corporate practices to identify opportunities for public health intervention. Freudenberg also studies how urban food policies can contribute to better health.

In the News

"Why Do We Ignore Capitalism When We Examine the Health Crises of Our Time?," Nicholas Freudenberg, Opinion, The BMJ, May 6, 2021.
"An Interview With Nick Freudenberg, Author of “At What Cost: Modern Capitalism and the Future of Health”," Nicholas Freudenberg, Interview with Craig Willingham, CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor, March 30, 2021.
"To Protect Health, Rein In Big Tech: Influential Companies Must Take Responsibility for Effects," Nicholas Freudenberg, Opinion, New York Daily News, March 29, 2021.
"A New Book Asks Whether Capitalism Is Compatible With Public Health. (The Answer Is No)," Nicholas Freudenberg, Interview with Matthew Rozsa, Salon, March 14, 2021.
Nicholas Freudenberg quoted by Tiffany Pennamon, "New York Governor Proposes Legislation to End Hunger at all Public State Schools" Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, January 4, 2018.
"8 Ways to Move the Food Movement Forward in the Age of Trump," Nicholas Freudenberg (with Mark Bittman), Civil Eats, May 30, 2017.
"The Right to Hear Controversial Ideas," Nicholas Freudenberg (with Meena Alexander , Gerald Markowitz, Rosalind Petchesky, and Michelle Fine ), Inside Higher Education, May 22, 2017.
"How NAFTA Got Mexicans Hooked on U.S. Junk Food," Nicholas Freudenberg, Dallas Morning News, May 1, 2017.
"Beyond Obamacare: Stopping Corporations from Making People Sick," Nicholas Freudenberg, The American Prospect, May 6, 2016.
"To Reduce Inequality, Reinvest in CUNY," Nicholas Freudenberg (with Michelle Fine and Meena Alexander), Crain's New York Business, February 26, 2016.
"True Cost of Diverted Tobacco Payouts Measured in Lives," Nicholas Freudenberg, The Conversation, October 21, 2014.
"GM's $35 Million Fine is a Downpayment on Fixing America's Regulation," Nicholas Freudenberg, Talking Points Memo, May 20, 2014.
"How Washington Dooms Millions of Americans to Premature Death," Nicholas Freudenberg, Daily Beast, February 25, 2014.
Nicholas Freudenberg's research on the “corporate consumption complex” discussed by Mark Bittman, "Rethinking Our ‘Rights’ to Dangerous Behaviors," New York Times, February 24, 2014.
Guest to discuss his new book (Lethal but Legal) with Marion Nestle and Laura Berry on CSPAN Books, Nicholas Freudenberg, February 20, 2014.
Guest to discuss Lethal but Legal on MSNBC’s “The Cycle”, Nicholas Freudenberg, February 17, 2014.
"Top Lessons from 50 Years of Fighting the Tobacco Industry," Nicholas Freudenberg, The Guardian, January 14, 2014.


"Jobs for a Healthier Diet and a Stronger Economy: Opportunities for Creating New Good Food Jobs in New York City," New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College, 2013.
Reviews New York’s and national efforts to create entry level food jobs and recommends that New York City create 10,000 new Good Food Jobs by 2020 that provide living wages, safe working conditions and contribute to making healthier food more available and affordable.
Lethal but Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Examines the role of the “corporate consumption complex” in promoting chronic diseases and injuries, the leading causes of global premature death. Suggests strategies for a movement that can link concerns about corporate impact on health, the environment and democracy.
"Can a Food Justice Movement Improve Nutrition and Health? A Case Study of the Emerging Food Movement in New York City" (with Emma Tsui and John McDonough). Journal of Urban Health 88, no. 4 (2011): 623-636.
Traces the emergence of a food justice movement in New York City and assesses its accomplishments and limitations.
"Getting Serious about the Prevention of Chronic Diseases" (with Ken Olden). Preventing Chronic Disease 8, no. 4 (2011): A90.
Urges coordinated intersectoral action to prevent the growing burden of chronic diseases in the United States.
"Training New Community Health, Food Service, and Environmental Protection Workers Could Boost Health, Jobs, and Growth" (with Emma Tsui). Health Affairs 30, no. 11 (2011): 2098-2106.
Recommends creating new entry level jobs that can both promote community development and improve public health.
"Reframing School Dropout as a Public Health Issue" (with Jessica Ruglis). Preventing Chronic Disease 4, no. 4 (2007): A107.
Shows that preventing high school dropout could reduce premature death and racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health inequalities and suggests how public health professionals can contribute to improved school retention.