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Public Health. 2009 Sep;123(9):587-91. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2009.07.012. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

Conventional and ecological public health.

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Brunel University, London, UK.


This paper suggests that current models of public health are no longer sufficient as a means for understanding the health challenges of the anthropogenic age, and argues for an alternative based upon an ecological model. The roots of this perspective originated within the Victorian era, although it found only limited expression at that time. Ecological thinking in public health has only been revived relatively recently. Derived from an analysis of obesity, this paper proposes the development of an approach to ecological public health based on four dimensions of existence: the material, the physiological, the social and the cultural-cognitive. The implications for public policy are considered.

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