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Global Interconnectedness Influences Population Health

In a global health review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Anthony McMichael of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University examines the effects of globalization and “international connectivity” on “human health, international health care, and public health activities.” He discusses how several factors, including climate change, population growth, and “the accelerated emergence of new infectious diseases,” systematically influence population health. “Various global-scale changes — economic, social, demographic, and environmental (particularly climatic) — are linked, for example, to the increased prevalence of obesity, changes in regional food yields, the emergence of infectious diseases, the spread of cigarette smoking, and the persistence of health disparities,” he writes, concluding, “For populations to live sustainably and with good long-term health, the health sector must work with other sectors in reshaping how human societies plan, build, move, produce, consume, share, and generate energy” (4/4).