Changing Practice


Anchor lead: How can guidelines for health be translated to choices people make? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Comprehensive guidelines for reducing cancer risk have recently been released from the American Cancer Society, covering diet, alcohol use, and exercise. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says the key to adoption of these guidelines is most likely a public health approach that would help reduce infectious disease risk and overall health.

Nelson: Maybe as we begin to build public health assets around the country rather than just monitoring when an infection shows up and doing contact tracing maybe we can start to address these root causes in a public health conformation. Can we begin to deploy programs with measured accountability for our ability to limit obesity, promote physical activity, ensure the intake of plant foods away from these food deserts where they’re hard to get ahold of and really think about that as a public health goal, not just the control of infectious diseases.  :31

Nelson says the current pandemic helps bring such an approach sharply into focus. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.