With austerity the order of the day in most OECD countries, the public is understandably anxious that budget cuts do as little harm as possible to the services they depend on. Few sectors capture the dilemmas this poses for policymakers quite like healthcare.
Health ministers from OECD countries met in Paris to discuss how to meet urgent short-term fiscal concerns without sacrificing the quality and availability of health care, either now or in the future.
Before 1980, rates were generally well below 10%. They have since doubled or tripled in many countries, and in almost half of the OECD, 50% or more of the population is overweight. A key risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, obesity is a major public health concern.
This book contributes to evidence-based policy making by exploring multiple dimensions of the obesity problem. It examines the scale and characteristics of the epidemic, the respective roles and influence of market forces and governments, and the impact of interventions. It outlines an economic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases that provides novel insights relative to a more traditional public health approach.
The analysis was undertaken by the OECD, partly in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The main chapters are complemented by special contributions from health and obesity experts, including Marc Suhrcke, Tim Lobstein, Donald Kenkel and Francesco Branca.
“a valuable set of results and suggestions about the best preventive interventions to reduce the burden of obesity.” – Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard School of Public Health
“The positive message of this book is that the obesity epidemic can be successfully addressed.” – Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization
“innovative and well-researched” – Martin McKee, Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
"A timely, valuable volume on a critical issue. Highly recommended."-Choice, July 2011
The OECD Factbook is the best-selling, innovative title from the OECD. It provides a global overview of today’s major economic, social and environmental indicators, presenting them clearly and concisely, and in a range of user-friendly formats.
The OECD’s latest edition of Health at a Glance shows that all countries could provide better health care.
English, Excel, 376kb
The United States spent 16% of its national income (GDP) on health in 2007, which is by far, the highest share in the OECD. This presentation was given by Mark Pearson, Head of OECD Health Division, to the U.S Senate Special Committee on Aging.
The number of doctors per capita increased 2% per year on average across OECD countries between 1990 and 2007, but in some countries the trend is reversing.
Policy makers are now facing the challenge of providing a short-term response to the crisis without losing sight of the longer-term structural reforms needed to put pension and healthcare systems on a solid footing in light of population ageing. According to Mr. Gurría, we need pension funds to be more transparent and better regulated but we also need structural reforms in the public pension policies and health care systems.