From education to agriculture to transportation to you-name-it, the laws, policies, and funding priorities at all levels of government affect young people’s health. They can support or create obstacles to young people’s health.
The aim of healthy public policy is to create social and physical environments in which young people can live healthy lives and in which the healthy choice is possible and even the easiest choice. A policy environment that promotes young people’s health strengthens protective factors, reduces risk factors, and assures access to the social determinants of health. Good public health policy has to be aware of and concerned about the impacts on health for young people as a whole, as well as for specific groups of young people.
Policies that address a public health issue more directly are also needed to increase the likelihood that young people will avoid risk-taking behaviours.
Visit the Toolbox for resources to build healthy public policy.