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Can J Public Health. 2015 Jul 8;106(4):e252-5. doi: 10.17269/cjph.106.5161.

Population health promotion 2.0: An eco-social approach to public health in the Anthropocene.

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Senior Editor, CJPH, University of Victoria.


Humanity is both an animal species that evolved within and is dependent upon natural ecosystems and a social animal that exists within the social systems we have created. Our health is dependent upon both these systems - natural and social - functioning well, and indeed upon their interactions. Yet our approach to improving the health of the population over the past few decades has been largely, if not exclusively, focused on the social determinants of health. A recent Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) Discussion Document and the technical report on which it is based seek to strike a more balanced approach. First, they document the dramatic and rapid global ecological changes that humans have created and argue that they are a significant threat to the health of the population in the 21st century. Second, they identify the underlying social, cultural and economic forces that are driving these changes. Third, they argue that we need to take an eco-social approach in population health promotion, recognizing the interactions between the ecological and social determinants of health. Such an approach could be considered to be 'Population health promotion 2.0', and it has profound implications for the practice of public health.


Health promotion; ecological and environmental phenomena; ecosystem; social determinants of health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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