Key points

Health in all policies is an established approach to improving health and health equity through cross-sector action on the wider determinants of health: the social, environmental, economic and commercial conditions in which people live.

Our collection of case studies looks at practical attempts to implement this around the world. The nine case studies offer valuable insights into the practicalities of delivering a health in all policies approach in different contexts, sectors and levels of government.

Lessons from the case studies

Each example offers ideas and learning points that policymakers and practitioners may draw on and adapt to design and deliver initiatives in their areas.

  1. Embedding social sustainability across Malmö
  2. Improving air quality in Paris
  3. Tackling social exclusion in South Australia
  4. Coordinating US action on prisoner reoffending
  5. Increasing access to healthy foods in Pennsylvania
  6. Targeting inequalities through government reform in Norway
  7. Tackling obesity in Canada through urban design
  8. Boosting cross-sector work through coaching in the Netherlands
  9. Taxing unhealthy foods to improve health in Hungary

Read the collection

Background

With improvements in life expectancy stalling and inequalities in healthy life expectancy widening, there is growing recognition of the importance of improving and maintaining people’s health and reducing health inequalities. Tackling these issues cannot be achieved from action by the ‘health’ system alone.

Whether through transport, housing, fiscal or employment policies, decisions taken across national and local government have the potential to create the conditions for healthy lives.

The Health Foundation commissioned the UK Health Forum to analyse international examples where national, regional or local governments have introduced policies or programmes to improve health and reduce health inequalities through actions outside the health sector.

Each case study offers practical insights about the realities of implementing health in all policies and what this might mean for policymakers and practitioners in the UK. The collection demonstrates several critical ingredients for creating and sustaining a health in all policies approach, as well as the challenges to delivering cross-sectoral partnerships for health.

Contents

Click below to read the relevant section online:

Acknowledgements

Overview

Lessons from the case studies

Case studies:

  1. Embedding social sustainability across Malmö
  2. Improving air quality in Paris
  3. Tackling social exclusion in South Australia
  4. Coordinating US action on prisoner reoffending
  5. Increasing access to healthy foods in Pennsylvania
  6. Targeting inequalities through government reform in Norway
  7. Tackling obesity in Canada through urban design
  8. Boosting cross-sector work through coaching in the Netherlands
  9. Taxing unhealthy foods to improve health in Hungary

References

Further reading

Briefing

The nation's health as an asset

A briefing that asks: what is the social and economic value of maintaining and improving people's health?

Analysis

A recipe for action: using wider evidence for a healthier UK

This essay collection explores why we need trans-disciplinary approaches to improve the public's health.

Quick guide

What makes us healthy?

This guide explores how a person’s opportunity for health is influenced by factors outside the health and social care system.

Partnership

Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On

The Health Foundation and the Institute of Health Equity are working on an analysis of health inequalities in England and upd...

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