Health in all policies for more healthy life years

26 June 2015

“Health Targets for Austria” has been a paradigmatic example of a list of goals towards a healthy, sustainable lifestyle due to its multidisciplinary, inclusive and participative approach. Besides having a “health in all policies” mindset as one of its guiding principles, the elaboration of the following 10 goals was a truly inclusive process, gathering political and social stakeholders and including suggestions given by citizens on their online platform in the final version.

  1. To provide health-promoting living and working conditions for all population groups through cooperation of all societal and political areas;
  2. To promote fair and equal opportunities in health, irrespective of gender, socio-economic group, ethnic origin and age;
  3. To enhance health literacy in the population ;
  4. To secure sustainable natural resources such as air, water and soil and healthy environments for future generations;
  5. To strengthen social cohesion as a health enhancer;
  6. To ensure conditions under which children and young people can grow up as healthy as possible;
  7. To provide access to a healthy diet for all;
  8. To promote healthy, safe exercise and activity in everyday life through appropriate environments;
  9. To promote psychosocial health in all population groups;
  10. To secure sustainable and efficient health care services of high quality for all.

Looking at the 10 Austrian health target, we can see the importance given to two crucial aspects: health in all policies and equity. They have a role to play in each and every one of the points, ensuring that our socio-economic background is not an impeditive for learning about healthy choices and for making informed decisions about our lifestyle and health. Another prominent factor is focus given to young people, with points 2, 6, 7 and 8 being particularly applicable to children and the need to engage them in healthy habits and choices from the very beginning of their lives – indirectly targeting issues such as child obesity and the fact that health inequities during childhood may lead to health inequities as an adult.

The floor is yours

Do you think “Health Targets for Austria” mentions all the necessary points for a truly healthy lifestyle? Is this a list that should be applied in other EU member states?

What good examples are there in your country, region or city promoting healthy lifestyles with a special focus on children?

 

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