Public Health Summit | OPHA Annual Conference

Publication Date: 
October, 2008

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Theme: Making Healthy Communities Count

High-risk drinking, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity & tobacco use: Learning about generic policy opportunities and challenges across risk factors.

Evidence from international, national and provincial sources indicates that four chronic disease risk factors (alcohol, diet, physical inactivity and tobacco) either singly or together contribute to a large share of society’s burden. Each contributes to risk of more than one chronic disease, including cancers, cardiovascular disease, and several others.

There are advantages in looking at multiple risk factors in programming and policy planning – economies of scale, generic training for prevention practices, and unique opportunities for non-siloed approaches. Several leading experts have begun to examine cross-risk factor learnings and the implications for policy and practice. Despite unique policy challenges and nuances in addressing each risk factor, there are common learnings.

This presentation examined each of these themes and discussed the implications for public policies in Ontario and corresponding action steps.

Public Healthy Summit
Shawna Scale (OCDPA) and Marianne Kobus-Matthews (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

For a list of further readings, please see below.