Countering a culture of acceptance: Exploring councillor’s views towards poor health-related lifestyle choices

  • Matthew Callender (Invited speaker)
  • Sixsmith, J. (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


    In 2010, a new public health system in England was unveiled in response to the prevalence of health problems among England’s population (e.g. high levels of obesity, drug-use, smoking, alcohol consumption, poor levels of mental health and wellbeing etc). The new public health system empowers individuals, communities and local government to provide local solutions to local health and wellbeing problems. Indeed, local authorities were made responsible to drive commissioning within the new public health system, drawing on a ring-fenced public health grant to address health and wellbeing needs and inequalities between different communities and/or subsets of the local population. This paper reports councillor’s views towards public health and wellbeing priorities in Northamptonshire. The data illustrate councillor’s concerns about the ‘troubled society’ in which we live and that the success or failure of public health will hinge upon the ability of interventions to influence positive health choices. While many councillors emphasised the importance of educating children and young people about health-related lifestyle choices, less priority was placed upon affecting positive health change in adult populations. Moreover, the evidence suggested a culture of complacency and acceptance of risk-taking, and that greater responsibility should be exercised individually and collectively in relation to everyday decision-making.

    Part of conference session entitled: 'Addressing Diseases of Lifestyle: A Public Health Mission', convened by Matthew Callender, Judith Sixsmith and Michelle Pyer; chaired by Matthew Callender
    Period27 Aug 2014
    Event titleRoyal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Annual International Conference 2014
    Event typeConference
    LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational