Health behaviour change: Do we know what works and is this being implemented in Scotland?

J.K. Bray, G. McCartney, J.K. Dunbar, J. Thoulass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Scotland in recent years smoking, poor diet and excess alcohol have caused major public health problems. Knowledge of what is effective in the field of health behaviour change is therefore essential in achieving improvements in health. This symposium was convened with the purpose of ensuring that public health policy is informed by the best available evidence on effective interventions. As behaviour is complex, achieving change can be difficult and it is essential that interventions are properly planned, implemented and evaluated. A variety of recommendations for progress were advocated in areas including research, knowledge transfer, health inequalities and policy. The take-home message for the public health community was that action in these areas must be prioritised if health improvement for the population is to be realised. Given the importance of this topic it is no surprise that the symposium received substantial media attention. Coverage focused on Professor Anne Ludbrook's work on minimum pricing for alcohol. This is an excellent example of an intervention with considerable potential to improve public health. Crucially, in terms of acceptability, this measure would not reduce alcohol industry revenue, even though it should significantly reduce alcohol consumption - a win-win situation for all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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