health matters - a public health podcast Journalist & neuroscientist Dr. Fabienne Hübener interviews experts in the field of public health.

February 8, 2015  
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What can society as a whole do to improve the health and longevity of everyone?

I´m a medical journalist. Usually I write about what everybody can do individually to improve their health. Yet, many of these measures – such as losing weight, eating healthier, exercising – are doomed to fail.

This is because health is shaped by the society we live in, and the place we have in it. For example, people from the lower economic strata suffer many more times from cancer, depression, heart disease, schizophrenia and premature death than people from the upper economic strata. In our present economic-political system, the wealthy benefit the most from advances in medicine.

These and similar issues are addressed by the field of public health.

But public health doesn´t get much attention in the media. It´s often regarded as too complex, too abstract, just not sexy enough. That’s why I  publish a podcast series on public health. I want to interview experts in the field. I want it to be a personal and in-depth dialogue addressing some of the neglected questions in medicine.

The inspiration for this podcast came from an interview I did some years ago with Michael Marmot, a renowned expert in the field of inequality of health. That’s what he told me:

“The individual person cannot do much to change the situation. A political change is necessary. It is important to have a much stronger open public debate about this issue. We really understand a lot about inequalities in health by now. Early education and better work and life environments are very important. What is needed is a process that turns this knowledge into practical policies – on the local, regional, and national levels.”