1. Moore, Justin B. PhD, MS, FACSM

Article Content

Prevention, Policy, and Public Health, by A. A. Eyler, J. F. Chriqui, S. Moreland-Russell, R. C. Brownson, editors. 2016. pp. 1-408, New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780190224653.


Prevention, Policy, and Public Health provides an excellent introduction to public health policy and its role in prevention of many of the chronic and infectious diseases practitioners and researchers battle on a daily basis. This book, divided into 3 sections by the editors, covers Fundamental Policy Concepts (Part I), Policy Illustrations for Specific Public Health Issues (Part II), and Next Steps in Public Health Through Policy (Part III), all of which should be informative for those in training and experienced public health professionals alike.


The editors, Amy Eyler (Washington University in St Louis), Jamie Chriqui (University of Illinois at Chicago), Sarah Moreland-Russell (Washington University in St Louis), and Ross Brownson (Washington University in St Louis), bring their considerable expertise to the project, along with that of an impressive and diverse team of contributors, to produce a versatile book that can serve as introductory reading for a working practitioner who is new to public health policy or as a supplemental text to a graduate-level public health policy course. It should be required reading for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, but I digress.


As with any edited book, there are chapters that readers will find more appealing than others. For my personal preferences, I found the chapters that are prescriptive and provide specific guidance to be especially welcome. For example, Chapter Four: Public Health Policy Analysis and Evaluation was especially well-constructed, providing step-by-step instructions on the practice of policy analysis along with "practical tips" for users. Many experienced policy analysts might find these steps to be rudimentary, but those who work occasionally in the policy arena, or who are new to policy work, will find these chapters especially useful. Chapters in Part II, such as Public Policy and Physical Activity (chapter 8) and Public Policy and Prevention of Violence Against Women (chapter 12), will be of interest to those working in these areas or those whose work duties may suddenly shift to new content areas with the winds of change (or funding).


As stated previously, preferences will vary by reader, but one area that I felt was unevenly presented in a few occasions was opposition to specific public health policies. In a few occurrences throughout the book, opposition to governmental policy was depicted as a product constructed almost exclusively through industry-funded lobbying, with little organic, grass-roots resistance. While most readers of the Journal can likely think of numerous examples of these types of "AstroTurf" opposition groups, I would have liked to have seen a more evenhanded description of the opposition in cases where ideology may be opposite to public health goals but are deeply held personal beliefs that are not fabricated and must be navigated if societal change is to be made. Despite this relatively minor complaint in a few instances, I found other very nuanced descriptions of opposing positions (eg, Chapter 7: Food, Nutrition, and Obesity Policy) and strategies to respectfully mitigate them.


In whole, Prevention, Policy, and Public Health provides an excellent overview of the public health policy field, current applications of health-promoting policies, and recommendations for communication, advocacy, and other policy-related skills for the emerging workforce. Available through Oxford University Press (, Prevention, Policy, and Public Health is a must-have addition to the library (or e-library) of all public health professionals.


-Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM


Associate Editor