"'Good health implies the achievement of a dynamic balance between individuals or groups and their environment.'" (Better Health Commission 1986, cited in Carey, D., Perraton, G.; Weston, K. 2000: 3). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 'health' can be defined as the absence of illnesses and a state of mental and social well-being (Carey et al. 2000:3). In other words, in order to maintain optimal health, it is imperative to have a well-balanced lifestyle which would include a nutritious diet as well as mental and social well-being. This essay shows that food is one of the many important factors amongst others when striving to maintain good health. This will be demonstrated by examining the three main aspects affecting an individual's health, in the following order: diet, lifestyle and social fabric of family and society.
Diet is considered as one of the most crucial factors contributing to an individual's health. However, being aware of what constitutes a good diet as opposed to a poor diet is significant in maintaining optimal health in an individual. A diet that is well-balanced includes more fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and less fatty, salty or sugary foods. This would mean avoiding processed meals from takeaways and eating less refined foods. Several main reasons are commonly given for this. The first of this is a poor diet which has been noted to be a major cause of obesity. Obesity appears to be a major risk factor in many diseases such as colorectal cancer and coronary heart disease. In addition, in recent years the number of diet-related diseases has increased proportionately, and is now one of the major causes of death in most western countries including Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (1987 cited in Australian Consumers' Association 1991: 6), the most significant causes of mortality in 1986 were cancer and heart disease. An explanation for this could be the steady rise in obesity levels within Australia,...
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