Hall & Jacobson in Health Affairs: “Health in All Policies” can promote health equity

March 6, 2018

An article by Richard Hall and Peter Jacobson (University of Michigan) in the March edition of Health Affairs reports on "Examining whether the health-in-all-policies approach promotes health equity."

Hall participated in a briefing about the new research hosted by Health Affairs at the National Press Club on March 6, 2018. Watch video from the event here.


Scholars and public health advocates have expressed optimism about the potential for the health-in-all-policies approach to address social disparities in health, but little research has been done on whether it promotes health equity in practice. Based on sixty-five in-depth interviews with US officials in the public and private sectors conducted in five states in 2016–17, we found a relationship between the use of the approach and the prominence of health equity as a policy concern. In emphasizing the social determinants of health, the approach gives public officials and policy entrepreneurs a framework for promoting this goal. In some areas, we found a gradual transition in focus from health generally to health equity. Overall, we found that practitioners of the approach introduce equity selectively and strategically.