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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years


Theme Justice

From socio-economic inequality to the role of the food industry

One of the research topics in health law concerns the influence of socio-economic status on people's health. For example, research shows that unfavourable socio-economic circumstances – even before birth – can manifest themselves at a later age in poor(er) health and morbidity. A child who grows up in a lower socio-economic environment has poorer health outlook. That inequality is closer than we think; even between the city districts in Groningen there are significant differences in life expectancy.

From both an academic and a policy perspective, it is crucial that we find out how the disadvantages at a young age affect health in later life and how we can reduce socio-economic inequalities in health.

Another issue in which justice plays an important role is the responsibility of the food industry in relation to the development of chronic diseases. Products in the supermarket contain too much salt and sugar and are nevertheless often labelled as healthy. Should we intervene or is it the citizen’s own responsibility? And how does the legal world view this issue?

Legal perspective

By conducting research into prevention and intervention strategies in healthcare and public health from a legal perspective, the law can be an important added value for the healthy aging of everyone in the Netherlands and abroad. This only has a chance of success if the research is executed in a multidisciplinary manner, approached from a life course perspective, and if the available data is carefully used.

Last modified:23 July 2019 10.55 a.m.
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