PHO Talks — "Why are people against health?"


13 June 2019

For public health professionals, it can be difficult to imagine why people oppose health promoting advice and policies. Health can be considered a value – and in public health we often expect people to prioritize health above other values. 

In this talk “Why are people against health,” Justin Thielman, Epidemiologist Lead, discusses how an individual’s personal value systems may sometimes compete with their own health. The talk explores how prioritizing different values, like personal freedom, can explain why people oppose efforts to improve health. Understanding these competing values and how they interact with health can also help us understand resistance to health promotion and may help us improve healthy policies, programs and behaviours.


PHO Talks — Why are People against Health?

This talk looks at how people have their own value systems, which sometimes may compete with health. It explores how prioritizing different values, like personal freedom, can help explain why people may oppose health promotion policies, programs and behaviours.

About the Speaker: Justin Thielman

Justin is an Epidemiologist Lead with the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention team at PHO. He leads various research projects and public health surveillance initiatives related to chronic illnesses. For more information about Justin’s work, check out his PHO profile where he discusses his research on walkability and its impact on chronic disease.

About PHO Talks Speaker Series

Launched in 2017, PHO Talks is a speaker series that features some of the brightest minds at PHO. PHO staff explore various public health topics and share their ideas aimed at driving innovation in public health.

Check out some of our other talks from this year:

  • The Future of Environmental Stewardship” – Dr. Elaina MacIntyre explores the evidence linking human and ecosystem health and the importance of restoring balance between us and the natural world.
  • LEAN starts with People” – Katarina Goenadi explores how she used LEAN to improve the coordination and distribution of specimen container kits that are used for testing across Ontario.

PHO Webinar: Measles Update for Clinicians and Public Health

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Updated 13 June 2019