Public Health


Changes in the population structure, evolving disease patterns, increasing health inequalities and a transforming environment challenge health systems. Although smoking has been declining in many OECD countries, unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles, hazardous alcohol use and other risk factors have spread widely, driving non-communicable diseases and mortality. To address these issues, OECD works to support the development of well-concerted population approaches under strong public health systems.

Our work explores major risk factors including obesity, diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, tobacco and environmental risks. We study the spread of these risk factors in populations, past and projected future trends, inequalities by socioeconomic status and the determinants underpinning these risk factors. Moreover, we identify effective and efficient policies to tackle risk factors and prevent major non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We produce evidence of the health and economic impacts of alternative approaches, through modelling and identification of best practices.

Public Health

Antimicrobial resistance


Obesity, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity

Best practices in public health


Harmful alcohol consumption


Pollution and environment

Health promotion


Public health reviews 



The OECD is a global leader in modelling public health threats and in evaluating the return on investment of innovative policy options to tackles these threats. The family of OECD models to support Strategic Public Health Planning (SPHeP) are designed to inform and support the decision-making process in countries at all levels of income and for all the key public health risks, including unhealthy lifestyles, non-communicable diseases and infectious diseases.


UNIATF/OECD WORK ON Responding to the Challenge of NCDs


The OECD is one of the 42 intergovernmental organisations part of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (UNIATF). UNIATF was established in 2013 to coordinate the activities of the UN System and other relevant intergovernmental organisations to support the realisation of the commitments made by Heads of State and Government in the 2011 Political Declaration on NCDs. Joint activities included in the work plan of the Task Force are additive to various, more comprehensive efforts conducted by the individual organisations to prevent and control NCDs. These joint activities offer important opportunities to address cross-cutting issues and to advance capacity and learning in countries.



Related PROJECTS AND documents

OECD Health Working Papers



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