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Societies 2017, 7(2), 5;

Advocating for Health Promotion Policy in Norway: The Role of the County Municipalities

Department of Health Promotion and Development, University of Bergen, Christiesgate 13, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, PO BOX 4 St. Olavs plass, NO-0130 Oslo, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kristine Crondahl
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Promotion)
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Background: The Norwegian National government has developed public health policies that reflect health promotion principles, and these are particularly reflected in the recent Public Health Act (PHA). The counties (CMs) have been given a central role in the implementation of the PHA, and in this paper we explore how the CMs fill this role. Methods: Qualitative as well as quantitative data have been applied; a survey, a document study and personal interviews have been conducted. Results: The findings show that the CMs find it challenging to influence all sectors to change the focus from classical lifestyle issues to a focus on the social determinants of health. The Directorate of Health has the main responsibility for implementing the PHA, but the signals from the Directorate are not always consistent. The Directorate still launches campaigns and interventions to improve diets and stimulate physical activity, without launching them in the context of the PHA. Conclusion: The CMs regard the supporting role toward the municipalities as their highest priority. However, they find it hard to anchor and integrate the principles of the PHA. They explain this partly with the sectorised government organisation. View Full-Text
Keywords: health promotion; health in all policies; equity in health; governance; implementation health promotion; health in all policies; equity in health; governance; implementation

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Fosse, E.; Helgesen, M. Advocating for Health Promotion Policy in Norway: The Role of the County Municipalities. Societies 2017, 7, 5.

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