More public health interventions needed to prevent 'lifestyle' diseases

1 December 2014 

More public intervention is needed to prevent 'lifestyle' diseases, a leading health expert has claimed. 

Dr Stanley Blue, lecturer in Social Sciences at The University of Manchester, said a shift was needed in public health policy, with the focus on breaking social habits and practices, rather than the behaviour of individuals.

Published in the Critical Public Health journal,  the Theories of practice and public health: understanding (un)healthy practices report states that new ideas are needed to tackle non-communicable such as heart disease, cancer, asthma and diabetes.

They cite the smoking ban as an example of a measure that has discouraged people from smoking, especially when going out for a meal. They suggest a similar approach could be taken to eating and exercise, rather than traditional methods that promote the importance of going to the gym or eating their five a day.

Dr Stanley Blue said: "Smoking, exercise and eating are fundamentally social practices, therefore we need to re-shape what is deemed socially acceptable and normal in order to change them."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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