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Improving health and well-being independently of GDP: Dividends of greener and prosocial economies

Pretty, J and Barton, J and Pervez Bharucha, Z and Bragg, R and Pencheon, D and Wood, C and Depledge, MH (2016) 'Improving health and well-being independently of GDP: Dividends of greener and prosocial economies.' International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 26 (1). 11 - 36. ISSN 1369-1619

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Abstract

Increases in gross domestic product (GDP) beyond a threshold of basic needs do not lead to further increases in well-being. An explanation is that material consumption (MC) also results in negative health externalities. We assess how these externalities influence six factors critical for well-being: (i) healthy food; (ii) active body; (iii) healthy mind; (iv) community links; (v) contact with nature; and (vi) attachment to possessions. If environmentally sustainable consumption (ESC) were increasingly substituted for MC, thus improving well-being and stocks of natural and social capital, and sustainable behaviours involving non-material consumption (SBs-NMC) became more prevalent, then well-being would increase regardless of levels of GDP. In the UK, the individualised annual health costs of negative consumption externalities (NCEs) currently amount to £62 billion for the National Health Service, and £184 billion for the economy (for mental ill-health, dementia, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes, loneliness and cardiovascular disease). A dividend is available if substitution by ESC and SBs-NMC could limit the prevalence of these conditions.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Biological Sciences, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2015 13:47
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12753

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