Healthy Choices

Powerful Essays
"The key to National Health Improvement is more people making healthier choices more of the time." Discuss
This essay aims to discuss making healthier choices in the socio-economic context of health. Health and public health will also be defined.
Health has diverse meanings to various people; The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not only the absence of disease and infirmity. (WHO, 1948) However, this definition has been criticized by many authors (Aggleton 1990, Ewles and Simnet 1999,) for viewing health in static terms, being idealistic and failing to address the concept that health is not just determined by the individual. In addition, Blaxter (1990) defines health negatively, as the absence of illness, functionally as the ability to cope with everyday activities, or positively, as fitness and well-being.
"Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, the control of community infections, the education of the individual in principles of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing service for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the community a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health"(Baggott, 2000a).
Ottawa Charter (1986), states that for people to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. The fundamental conditions for health are peace, shelter, education,



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