Public health policy, evidence, and causation: lessons from the studies on obesity

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (2):141-151 (2012)
Abstract
The paper addresses the question of how different types of evidence ought to inform public health policy. By analysing case studies on obesity, the paper draws lessons about the different roles that different types of evidence play in setting up public health policies. More specifically, it is argued that evidence of difference-making supports considerations about ‘what works for whom in what circumstances’, and that evidence of mechanisms provides information about the ‘causal pathways’ to intervene upon
Keywords Causation  Disease causation  Evidence  Evidence-based public health  Obesity  Public health policy
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References found in this work BETA
William Bechtel (2005). Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
Donald Gillies (2011). The Russo-Williamson Thesis and the Question of Whether Smoking Causes Heart Disease. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. 110--125.
Austin Bradford Hill (1965). The Environment and Disease: Association or Causation? Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 58:295-300.
Phyllis McKay Illari (2011). Mechanistic Evidence: Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson Thesis. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):139 - 157.

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