Health policy interventions: the pathway to public health

Andersen K, Gudnason VLaeknabladid. 2013 Mar;99(3):129-34

SOURCE:  Cardiovascular Research Center Landspítali University Faculty of Medicine, Univesity of Iceland IS 101 Rejkjavík, Iceland.

Chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are currently the main cause of premature death and disability in the world. Most of these NCDs are due to unhealthy lifestyle choices i.e. tobacco, unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercise and alcohol consumption. Studies have shown that health policy interventions aiming at improving diet and physical activity and reducing tobacco consumption are inexpensive, effective and cost saving. In this paper we address the political health policy interventions that have been shown to improve public health. We discuss some of the theories of behavioral economics which explain the processes involved in our every-day choices regarding lifestyle and diet.