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Practising Public HealthAn Eyewitness Account$
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John Ashton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743170

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198743170.001.0001

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Promoting and improving health

Promoting and improving health

(p.62) Chapter 4 Promoting and improving health
Practising Public Health

John Ashton

Oxford University Press

This chapter reports on the New Public Health initiatives in the Mersey region, based in Liverpool and traces their antecedents from the post war period. Beginning with the first large-scale lifestyle interventions at the International Garden Festival in 1984, other aspects of the work based on agenda setting, consciousness raising, and developing models of good practice are described. These include exploring the use of public spaces, facilities, and assets to engage with the public and popularize ideas associated with the New Public Health. They also include landmark initiatives in Finland and Sweden to tackle the contemporary challenges of heart disease and teenage pregnancy, deploying methods based on the new thinking. The issue of the ‘Nanny State’ in the context of a libertarian society is confronted together with the role of public agencies as enablers, and asset-based community development is identified as a vital approach. The ways in which this early work paved the way for later developments, including the World Health Organization Healthy Cities project, by building foundations based on extensive personal and organizational partnership working are recorded.

Keywords:   the health field, agenda setting, consciousness raising, developing models of good practice, lifestyle assessment, a community approach, asset-based community development

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