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It is increasingly recognised that addressing the current challenges facing people’s long-term health outcomes in the UK isn’t simply a problem of research translation and access to existing evidence. It is a more fundamental problem: the evidence relevant to population-level action for long-term population health benefit – and the support to produce such evidence – is limited.

Producing such evidence requires current public health challenges to be viewed as social, economic, political and cultural phenomena. It requires a wider set of disciplines to be deployed to both understand and address the challenges effectively.

A recipe for action: using wider evidence for a healthier UK, presents a selection of essays written by individuals from a diverse range of industries and specialisms. They are reflecting on the case study of child obesity.

Key points

  • Tackling the current challenges to people’s long-term good health isn’t simply a problem of access to – or translation of – existing evidence.
  • It is a more fundamental issue: the evidence we need to take population-level action that benefits the health of the public – and the support to produce such evidence – is limited.
  • It requires us to use evidence from a wider set of disciplines – and for research to be trans-disciplinary – both to understand and to address effectively the challenges the health of the public is facing.
  • This means reaching beyond the traditional health disciplines and the biomedical ‘gold standard’ evidence.
  • It also means that both decision makers and practitioners across the public health community need to be receptive to and be comfortable using different types of evidence.
  • A recipe for action: using wider evidence for a healthier UK illustrates how different disciplines and professional practices conceptualise evidence and how they reason about moving from evidence to taking action.

They also show that a broad range of disciplines and professional practices share similar goals to medicine and public health, to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the UK and beyond.

Further reading