‘Population health’ must start with a holistic approach to health and well-being

Good health is a lifelong process. Many of the most critical behaviours are established in early childhood and need reinforcing at each stage of life.

The health of the British population sadly lags behind many other developed countries and is beset by disparities among racial, ethnic and socially disadvantaged groups.

Recognition that this problem cannot be solved only by better and more accessible medical care has led to increased interest in ‘population health’ among government ministers and commissioners. Indeed they are also becoming more focused on its underlying determinants – behaviours and social and environmental conditions.

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