|Title||Improving health and wellbeing independently of GDP: dividends of greener and prosoical economies|
|Authors||Pretty, J., Barton, J., Bharucha, Z., Bragg, R., Pencheon, D., Wood, C. and Depledge, M.H.|
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.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Health Research|
|Journal citation||26 (1), pp. 11-36|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1080/09603123.2015.1007841|
|Published||11 Feb 2015|