Policy Press

Challenging health inequalities

From Acheson to Choosing Health

Edited by Elizabeth Dowler and Nick J. Spencer


Sep 5, 2007

Page count

272 pages

Browse the series

Health and Society




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Challenging health inequalities

This book offers a unique multi-disciplinary perspective on tackling health inequalities in a rich country, examining the New Labour policy agenda for tackling health inequalities and its inherent challenges.

The book presents an overview of progress since the publication of the seminal and ambitious 1998 Acheson Inquiry into health inequalities, and the theoretical and methodological issues underpinning health inequalities. The contributors consider the determinants of inequality - for example, early childhood experience and ethnicity - the factors that mediate the relationship between determinants and health - nutrition, housing and health behaviour - and the sectoral policy interventions in user involvement, local area partnership working and social work.

Challenging health inequalities offers a combination of broad analysis of progress from differing perspectives and will be key reading to academics, students and policy makers.

"the book benefits from bringing together a wide range of professional and academic experiences that make a valuable contribution to addressing these issues in a contemporary society ... I would recommend this book as a valuable reference resource for departments, teams or organisations" www.pcx.nhs.uk - NHS Patient-Citizen Exchange Newsletter, December 2007

"An excellent, much needed textbook that provides a critical overview of the health inequalities agenda today and what progress has/has not been made." Dr Anne Confopoutos, Liverpool Hope University

"..adds further depth and breadth to our understanding of health inequalities and policies to address them..." Sociology of Health & Illness, Vol 30:3, 2008

"For any doubters that health inequalities are widening after 10 years of a government committed to reducing them, Challenging Health Inequalities provides the evidence. Notwithstanding some modest successes, the key to reducing health inequalities - income redistribution - has worsened over the decade. As New Labour struggles to renew itself under a new Prime Minister, this book is a timely reminder of the enormity of the challenge confronting it." David J Hunter, Durham University

Elizabeth Dowler is Reader in Food and Social Policy, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK.

Nick Spencer is Professor Emeritus of Child Health, School of Health and Social Studies, University of Warwick, UK.

Challenging health inequalities: introduction ~ Nick Spencer and Elizabeth Dowler; Progress in tackling health inequalities: a policy maker's perspective ~ Ray Earwicker; Inequalities in mortality rates under New Labour ~ Danny Dorling, Mary Shaw and George Davey Smith; Explaining inequalities in health: theoretical, conceptual and methodological agendas ~ Simon Williams, Michael Calnan and Alan Dolan; Inequalities in pregnancy and early years and the impact across the lifecourse: progress and future challenges ~ Nick Spencer and Catherine Law; Inequalities and ethnicity: evidence and intervention ~ Hannah Bradby and Tarani Chandola; Housing conditions and health ~ David Ormandy; Inequalities in food and nutrition: challenging 'lifestyles' ~ Elizabeth Dowler, Martin Caraher and Paul Lincoln; Behaving badly? Smoking and the role of behaviour change in tackling health inequalities ~ Nick Spencer; Health inequalities and user involvement ~ Jonathan Tritter and Helen Lester; Gilding the ghetto again? Community development approaches to tackling health inequalities ~ Mick Carpenter; A new agenda for social work: tackling health inequalities in physical health ~ Eileen McLeod, Paul Bywaters, Peter Beresford, Suzy Croft and Mark Drakeford; Challenging health inequalities: themes and issues ~ Elizabeth Dowler and Nick Spencer.