Health and Health Promotion


Definition of Health and Health Promotion
Florence Nightingale a nineteenth century medical pioneer defined health as due to a multitude of influences and beyond the sick-care model of the day. She believes that when sickness is disobeyed it results in health (Rosa, Upvall, Beck and Dossey, 2019). The World Health Organization (WHO) evolved this definition by describing health as a state of complete Physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the non-existence of disease or illness.
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According to Goldsmith(1972), the World Health Organization definition of health has been criticized as being abstract and simple, therefore others such as Siegrist who define health as not only the absenteeism of disease, but rather a positive, joyful attitude toward life and a happy acknowledgment of the responsibilities that life puts on an individual.
The term “Health Promotion” was coined in 1945 by Henry E. Sigerist, a great medical historian, who highlighted four major mission of medicine as promotion of health, prevention of illness, restoration of the sick and rehabilitation (Kumar and Preetha, 2012).
The individual and community health approach are two major types of health promotion. The individual proposal focuses on improving a person’s health and therefore an individual is required to alter his or her behavior and lifestyle; which is to improve health related aspects of the cultural, social, economic, technical and natural environment.
The community health proposal aims to improve socio-ecological health potential; and this involves economic, cultural, natural, social and technical environments. This approach assumes that these factors can affect people’s physical conditions, risk of health and lifestyles positively, and in addition the health potential of the individual. This approach focuses on a long-established custom of social medicine and public health (Abelin, Brzezinski and Carstairs,1987).
StudyMode (2013) however, states three types of health promotion. They are primary prevention, which is done in the community, the secondary prevention which deals with the disease early to reverse the effect. Lastly, the tertiary prevention looks at individuals who already have the disease and how to slow the development thereby allowing the patient to have a maximum quality of life.
Key Issues That Impact Individual’s Health
Many factors affect an individual ability to achieve the best possible health and these factors include internal and external influences. These factors can be determined in terms of areas and scopes which provides a complete approach in nursing practice; this area contains biological, physiological, psychological, sociological, environmental, political, spiritual, intellectual, sexual and technological influences (Maville and Huerta,2012).
According to the WHO, circumstances and the environment can affect individuals as well as communities, regardless of a person being healthy or not. This determinant includes the social and economic environment, the physical environment, the person’s individual traits and behavior, income and social status, education, physical environment, social support networks, genetics, health services and gender (WHO, 2016).
The Dahlgren and Whitehead Model has been widely used to describe the main determinant of health, and the graph below depicts the model used. Siphathokuhle (2018) explains Dahlgren and Whitehead model of the determinate of health in four layers:
-The first layer shows that relationships which involves friends, partners and family members, which constitute a person closest family circle are all factors that contributes and influences a person behavior and experiences.
-The second layer is community and social networks impact on health. The shared support for members of the community in adverse environments and how this can also lead to a negative effect and less support.
-The third layer examines the social relationships at workplace, schools and neighborhood which is another determinant of health, the characteristics identified within these settings are the ones that affects health. Individuals health could be impacted significantly by factors such as working conditions, housing, individual access to services and provisions of crucial facilities.
-The final layer is the extensive societal factors which favor or weakens individual’s health such as cultural and social norms, economic, education or policies that helps to form, maintain or prevent socioeconomic imbalance amongst groups.
Obesity and Its Impacts on Individual’s Health
Obesity is a public health problem that has raised serious issues worldwide. WHO reveals that 2.3 billion of the world population with aged ranging from 15 years and over are overweight. It was mentioned that there are over 700 million obese people worldwide (Chan and Woo, 2010)
Race or ethnicity can also lead to obesity or overweight. People of certain ethnic and cultural background are most likely to have obesity. In Ghana and other African countries being overweight is linked to being healthy and those who are slim are seen to be poor and unhealthy. African American adults tends to have higher rate of obesity compared with Hispanics adult, Latinos and Caucasians. This is true in both gender of the ethnic groups mentioned (NIDDK, 2018).
Poor eating and poor physical activity habits can also impact on an individual health and lifestyle, and this may lead to obesity. Beverages and foods that are high in calories, sugar and fat, also, spending a lot of time sitting or lying down and having limited physical activity can all lead to obesity. The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to majority of children and adult spending more time at home and therefore food can be used as a means of comfort or a coping mechanism, and this can lead to obesity. My children for instance like to eat sweets, fries and lot of drinks which sometimes have high sugar. Also, because they are not able to go to school, they spend more time on their computers to do online learning and watch kids programs making them less active which could lead to obese.
Family eating and lifestyle habits affects a person health and weight. It is quite common for families and groups to consume foods and beverages that are high in fat, salt and added sugars or eat unhealthy foods at family gatherings. Usually, families spend a lot of inactive time watching TV, computers, and mobile device instead of being active. (NIDDK, 2018).
Health Promotion Activities to Combat Obesity
Health promotion activities that can be effective to combat obesity includes but not limited to the following:
-Firstly, adult and children can be encouraged to change their eating habits by having a healthy diet through eating more vegetables, salad, fruits and limiting the intake of high fat, sugary foods and drinks.
-Secondly, activities can be incorporated into everyday life such as walking, gardening, cycling, swimming etc. online and TV workout programs can be utilized if movement is restricted for instance, the current pandemic where people are self-isolating and have been asked to stay home, to safe life and save the NHS.
People of certain race would have to be educated about their susceptibility to obesity due to genetic or cultural beliefs.

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