Most public health practitioners know that public health has relied on biomedical advances and administrative improvements, but it is less commonly understood that social movements in health have also been sources of motivation for population health advances. This review considers the impacts of social movements focused on urban conditions and health, on the health of children, and on behavioral and substance-related determinants of health and illustrates how these movements have significantly influenced public health activities and programs. We hope this review will motivate public health workers to make common cause with social activists and to encourage social activists to ally with public health professionals.


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