Promoting Health, Preventing Disease: The economic case (2015)



This book provides an economic perspective on health promotion and chronic disease prevention, and gives a rationale for assessing the economic case for action. It provides a comprehensive review of the evidence base in support of a broad range of public health interventions, addressing not only their effectiveness in improving population health, but also their implementation costs, impacts on health expenditures and wider economic consequences. 

An economic perspective is about more than counting the costs associated with poor health. It is about understanding how economic incentives can influence healthy lifestyle choices in the population. The book provides tools for developing effective and efficient policy strategies and addressing trade-offs between the goals of improving population health, while being mindful of the need to tackle inequalities in health outcomes across individuals and populations. 

The book:

  • practically illustrates methods and measures of cost and outcome used in the evaluation of interventions
  • covers specific risk factor areas including tobacco smoking, alcohol, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, poor mental health and harmful environmental factors
  • considers cross-cutting themes including key implementation issues, health inequalities, and the merits of early life interventions

The book is designed for health policy makers and all those working or studying in the areas of public health, health research, medicine or health economics.

David McDaid is Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics and Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

Franco Sassi is Senior Health Economist in the Health Division of the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the OECD in Paris, France.

Sherry Merkur is Research Fellow and Health Policy Analyst at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.