Europe’s health: what’s getting better, what’s getting worse and the role of well-being
Have you seen the report on European Health 2015 that was just published by the WHO?
First the good news: it seems there has been some progress and some inequalities in health (such as infant mortality) have decreased: they are, however, still high in absolute terms. Smoking and alcohol consumption have also decreased; Europe, nevertheless, remains the area with the highest alcohol consumption and smoking in the world. Sadly, overweight has increased, with almost 60% of Europeans being overweight or obese (for relevant IJPH papers click here, here and here).
This report also calls for well-being to be a public health indicator: an indicator that combines subjective and objective indicators and offers a more holistic approach and comes across as more positive than notions such mortality and disease. It might, however, pose challenges in being operationalised!
You can read ther full text or the highlights of the report. What do you think? What are the main problems in your country (European or not?) Can well-being be a pragmatic indicator for public health?