‘Well’ Explores the Social and Political Underpinnings of Health


From NPR: “The typical American conversation about health focuses on personal choice as a key driver — the foods we choose to eat, the number of steps we log each day, the doctors we visit and the medicines we take. But epidemiologist Sandro Galea says that way of thinking is the wrong way.

In his new book, Well: What We Need To Talk About When We Talk About Health, the dean of Boston University School of Public Health says not only does the belief in the power of personal choice fail to fix America’s health crisis, it also diverts us from real issues underlying our nation’s poor health . . .

To improve the nation’s overall physical and mental health, Galea says we need to understand that a slew of factors that may seem to have little connection to health are actually the drivers of it.

‘The lens that we adopt makes a big difference in how we invest our resources and how we tackle this problem,’ Galea says.

He says we need to start talking more about some neglected factors that shape health. These include some themes familiar to students of public health — poverty, environment and policies — and some more surprising ones, including fundamental human values that Galea believes deserve more attention.”

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