You are invited to a Westminster debate: health policy making for the 21st century: unhealthy environments, vested interests or inadequate people?

Tuesday 1 April 2014 | 14:00–16:00 | Committee Room 8, The Palace of Westminster

The dominant global diseases of the 19th and 20th centuries were typically infections and malnutrition associated with poverty and unhealthy environments.

According to the World Health Organization the leading diseases in the 21st century are the so called non-communicable diseases: cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory, liver and diabetes. The risk factors for these diseases include: smoking, alcohol use, unhealthy diets and lack of exercise. As such they can be framed as diseases of “inadequate personalities” the preferred framing of certain political groupings and of the industries and investors that profit from the sales of the risk factors. The prevailing view of the public health community is that personalities have not changed significantly over the last 50 years, but the unhealthy environments associated with deprivation have, and where previously, alcohol indulgence and corpulence were associated with wealth, alongside smoking, they are now associated with low social status and high mortality.

Policy makers on each side of the political divide have to negotiate vested interests to create solutions that will work for the whole of society. The aim of this symposium is to provide policymakers with the means to evaluate the evidence, circumnavigate the vested interests and create environments which are healthy for both people and wealth creators. Future society must find a way to satisfy these conflicting demands; we will discuss the strategies that will be needed.

Guest speakers including: Dr Sarah Wollaston MP for Totnes | Dr Nick Sheron, Head of Clinical Hepatology, University of Southampton Eric Appleby, Cheif Executive of Alcohol Concern | Donald Henderson, Head of Public Health, Scottish Government

Chair: Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, Royal Liverpool University Hospitals

Please register at:

This event is kindly supported by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP @drwollastonmp and Public Policy @Southampton @PublicPolicyUoS #BigAlcohol

- Download the invitation to this debate.

Last modified on March 27 2014.