Public health is in crisis, but it can be fixed

David J Hunter and colleagues highlight the decline of public health in the UK since 2010 due to factors like austerity, Brexit, and covid-19. They emphasize the need for stronger policy and leadership to address rising obesity levels, stalled life expectancy gains, widening health inequalities, and the weakening of public health agencies. The government’s opposition to public health measures and focus on individual choice over state support is criticized, and a shift towards a “social individualism” philosophy is advocated. Recommendations include establishing an independent national public health agency, adopting evidence-based measures, and restoring funding to local government and public health services.

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