Return on investment for wider determinants of health

13 July 2017

Public sector austerity measures in many high-income countries mean that public health budgets are reducing year on year. To help inform the potential impact of these proposed disinvestments in public health, this review, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), set out to determine the return on investment (ROI) from a range of existing public health interventions.

Amongst other results, the report finds that the interventions on the wider determinants of health averaged a fivefold return on investment and highlights the “cross-sector flow problem: cost-effective public health programmes may not be commissioned if decision-makers are only looking through a narrow health lens.”

The report concludes that local public health interventions are cost-saving, and offer substantial returns on investment, nationwide programmes even more so. The cuts to public health budgets therefore represent a false economy. They are likely to generate billions of pounds of additional costs to the health services and wider economy.

Download the report


Tom Andrews
Soil Association
07 717 802 188

Victoria Williams
Food Matters
0127 343 1713

Kath Dalmeny
0207 065 0902

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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