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J Epidemiol Community Health 56:82 doi:10.1136/jech.56.2.82
  • Speaker's corner

Towards an ecology minded public health?

  1. Alberto Manuel Torres1,
  2. Carlos Augusto Monteiro2
  1. 1Departmento de Salud Pública, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Ctra. Alicante-Valencia km 8.7 03550 San Juan de Alicante, Spain; atorres@umh.es
  2. 2Departamento de Nutrição da Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo, Spain

      Public health is about making people healthier but people's health greatly depends on the conditions they live in. Our environment is, to an unusually large extent, a human byproduct, shaped by social actions, regulations, economic forces, relations of power, international relations, and so on. In many cases we are not still even aware of all those interrelations, and of how actions in one place affect other areas of our ecosystem. Therefore, environmental changes tend to be regarded as “unavoidable” or as the “unforseen” consequences of profound economic and cultural changes that are being “brought on to us” without “anybody having the possibility or the ability to do anything about them”. Social wisdom seems to be about adapting to changes and incorporating them into new …