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What is health?

Health was defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) - 1948

'A state of complete physical, social and mental well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'

Widened its definition in 1986

'Health is therefore seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. It is a postive concept emphasising social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities.'

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Factors affecting Health

  • Individual factors - Things we cant change, Genetic make-up, gender, age
  • Behaviour and lifestyle factors - Important impact on health and can be modified, Smoking, Drinking alcohol, diet
  • Social networking - Support and care given by friends and family, this influences our behaviour and lifestyle
  • Issues in society - Where we live and work, access to health services, poor housing
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Incidence and causes of major health problems

Diet and lifestyle - A balanced diet is an important way of protecting health.

INCIDENCE OF OBESITY - Obesity results in an imbalance between energy intake and energy needs. Too many children spend too much time travelling by car instaed of walking or cycling. The increase in obesity suggests that the number of calories consumed is too high for the inactive child. Obesity is a risk factor associated with heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type 2 diabete. Obese people are more likely to suffer from low self esteem and reduced mobility.

DENTAL DECAY - The Children's Dental Health Survey in 2003 suggested that children attending deprieved primary schools were found to have more tooth decay than children in non-deprived schools. Tooth decay is caused by sticky deposits called dental plaque collecting around the gum line and in crevices between teeth. Dental plaque consists of food remains and bacteria in the saliva. If it is not removed when brushing it causes tooth decay. The dental plaque hardens into a substance called tartar and both this and the dental plaque are acidic and dissolve the protective enamel coating on teeth.

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