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Changing Health Behaviors in a Social Context 

Changing Health Behaviors in a Social Context
Changing Health Behaviors in a Social Context

Cassandra Okechukwu

, Kirsten Davison

, and Karen Emmons

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date: 25 January 2021

This chapter uses a social determinants of health (SDH) lens to examine the contribution of health behavior and health behavior interventions to population health. It summarizes the evolution of health behavior interventions and discusses key innovations in the field. Behavioral change interventions have evolved from an exclusive focus on individual-based approaches to those that integrate individual- and population-based strategies, typically using multilevel intervention strategies. Woven throughout the discussion is the importance of social context to population trends in adopting and maintaining health behaviors, as well as to consequences of unhealthy behaviors. We conclude by advocating for a shift toward solution-oriented social epidemiology that collaborates with behavioral scientists to redress the unequal distribution of health behaviors and health outcomes in the population.

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