Choosing health 2004 is the first ever government policy which was published by department of Health on 16th November 2004. It set out how the Government will make it easier for people to make healthier choices by offering them practical help to adopt healthier lifestyles. Choosing Health laid out a challenging programme of practical action aimed at saving thousands of lives in years to come. Tackling health inequalities will be central to successful delivery and targeted support will be offered in communities with the worst health and deprivation.
Choosing Health also sets out commonsense steps to prevent unnecessary deaths and help people who want to be healthier. The national engine for health improvement is to be found in people’s own ambition to live healthier lives and is underpinned by three key principles the first principal informed choice which acknowledges that people want to be able to make their own decisions about choices that impact on their health and to have credible and trustworthy information to help them do so. They expect the Government to provide support by helping to create the right environment. The second core principal was personalisation some people want support in making healthy choices and sticking to them, but particularly in deprived groups and communities, find current services do not meet their needs or are difficult to use. To be effective in tackling health inequalities, support has to be tailored to the realities of individual lives, with services and support personalised sensitively and provided flexibly and conveniently. Thirdly was the principal of working together the public are clear that Government and individuals alone cannot make progress on healthier choices. Real progress depends on effective partnerships across communities, including local government, the NHS, business, advertisers, retailers, the voluntary sector, communities, the media, faith organisations and many others. People look to Government to lead, coordinate and promote these partnerships, and expect that the other players take their health and the health of their families seriously and are prepared to engage constructively in a shared effort. (www.healthlinklibraries.co.uk)
Choosing Health highlights action over six key priorities for delivery based upon more people making more healthy choices .The first priority was to reducing the numbers of people who smoke, because it leads to heart disease, strokes, cancer and many other fatal diseases; because many people felt this was an area in which they needed more support in addressing the problem; because many people were concerned about the affects of second hand smoke; and because many parents were concerned about their children taking up smoking. Secondly to reducing obesity and improving diet and nutrition because the rapid increase in child and adult obesity over the past decade is storing up very serious health problems for the future if it is not addressed effectively now. Effective action on diet and exercise now will help to tackle heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a range of factors critical to our health. Thirdly to increasing exercise, because it reduces the risk of major chronic diseases and premature death. Over a third of people are not active enough to benefit their health, and rates of walking and cycling have fallen over the last 25 years and the fourth one was to Encouraging and supporting sensible drinking, because alcohol misuse is associated with deaths from stroke, cancer, liver disease, injury and suicide; because it places a burden on the NHS, particularly on Accident and Emergency departments; and because it is related to absenteeism, domestic violence and violent crime.
The last two priorities were to improving sexual health; this is because more people are not keeping themselves safe when they have sex. More people have now got ‘sexually transmitted diseases’. These are diseases that...
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