Social Determinants of Health and Public Policy

“Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale" – WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, 2008

The public health agenda both at national and global level has increasingly been shaped by recognition of the importance of social factors as underlying causes of health.  This unprecedented prominence of concern to address health inequalities is evident, for example, in the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health and the UK’s 2010 Marmot Review.  Public health has typically found it difficult to develop interventions that can effectively address upstream social determinants, with the consequence that policies have often focused on individual lifestyle factors and have sometimes served to exacerbate health inequalities. GPHU’s research seeks to engage with the social determinants of health and health inequalities and to inform policy responses.