Home Economics: Society and Health


Definition - The study of characteristics of human populations such as its size, growth and vital statistics such as marriage, death and birth.

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Population patterns and trends:

  • The working age population - longer working age, more people going to uni, higher retirement age
  • Fertility/Birth rates - 'baby boom' so increased population
  • Declining mortality rates - people living for longer so higher population
  • The role of women in society - more equal role, more women in work, more single mums
  • Migration into the UK - lots of diversity compared to 50 years ago
  • Cultural expectations - Hindu/Muslims; big families, Christians; feel should be married before having children
  • Religious beliefs - Less Christians because of scientific evidence hence the baby boom
  • Advances in hygiene and medicine - less people dying because of this so larger pop. 
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Implications of these patterns and trends

  • The working age population - People working longer means that there are less jobs available to younger people. Loans from uni are also a factor as these need to be paid off.
  • Fertility/Birth rates - More childcare is needed, creating jobs here. Also need more schools/nurseries, and more housing and products.
  • Declining mortality rates - More care housing and services needed. Less income for funeral companies. People working longer. More tax - state pension. More care workers needed.
  • The role of women in society - More childcare needed. More competition for jobs.
  • Migration into the UK - More jobs needed. Benefits - more taxes. More housing; cities become crowded. Move out of cities - jobs in more rural areas. 
  • Cultural expectations - Expectation to go to university; may decrease due to massive fees. More children.
  • Religious beliefs - Certain religions unable to work in certain jobs. May need time off at work for religious events. Decrease in Catholicism - less churches.
  • Advances in hygiene and medicine - Declining mortality rates; increased methods of fertility eg IVF and increased chance of premature babies surviving. Higher death age and people working longer.
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Family structures

Structures -

  • Nuclear - parents and children
  • Extended - parents, children and grandparents/other relatives
  • Reconstituted - remarriage with children from previous marriages/relationships.
  • Lone parent - single parent family with children
  • Gay/Lesbian 
  • Single person
  • Multi person
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Definitions of family/household


Family - a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

Household - one or more people that live in the same housing and share the same resources, may or may not be related.

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Role of family

Role of family -

  • socialise children
  • reproduction of children
  • housing
  • access to services
  • £ resources
  • care, security and protection
  • emotional needs eg love
  • values, beliefs, attitudes, cultual identity
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Changes in households and families

Changes in households/families:

  • more working women and stay at home dads
  • smaller family size - more women pursuing careers
  • more older mothers due to more options available, also more childless women
  • higher divorce rate - seen as more acceptable
  • more step families, more cohabitation, more births outside marriage
  • more lone parents, more non dependant children living @ home
  • civil partnerships :) 
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Marlows hierachy

Marlows hierachy of needs - (in order of bottom to top)

  • PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS - warmth and shelter
  • SELF ACTUALISATION - feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, accepting of others and themselves.
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Factors affecting standards of living

Factors affecting standard of living 

  • finacial resources that are available
  • number of people in the house
  • number of dependants in the house
  • occupation of people in the house
  • health of individuals
  • geographical location
  • debt, cost of housing
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Definitions of poverty

absolute poverty - is a state below which it is not possible to live a healthy life, beingunable to afford sufficient food, clothing, warmth and shelter.

relative poverty -  is having resources below the average individual or family so that they are in effect excluded from what we would consider ordinary living patterns and activities.

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Causes of poverty


  • The cycle of deprivation
  • Being dependent upon the state
  • Lack of employment
  • Lack of education
  • Caring for others
  • Being homeless
  • Being elderly, sick or disabled
  • The poverty trap
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Effects of poverty

Effects of poverty

  • Deprivation
  • Lack of leisure pursuits and activities
  • Stigma and lack of status
  • Inadequate housing conditions
  • Ill health
  • Locality
  • Strain on individuals and relationship
  • Finances
  • Social exclusion
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Unemployment is the lack of employment or the inability to find work

Workless households contain at least one person of working age but no one in employment

The economically active are people aged 16 years or over who are either employed or unemployed but want to work.

The economically inactive are those aged 16 years or over who are out of work and are either not seeking wor or unavailable to start work.

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Patterns of employment and unemployment


  • Education
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Technology
  • Contracts
  • Immigration
  • Job Type
  • Self-employment
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Effects of unemployment


  • Lack of self respect and identity
  • Poor confidence and low self esteem
  • Financial security
  • Stimulation and enjoyment
  • Oppurtunities and new skills
  • Leisure time
  • Social relationships
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Support services for unemployed

  • Jobseekers allowance
  • Income support
  • Housing benefits
  • Services such as the CAB
  • Job Grants
  • Government employment schemes - voluntary
  • Job centres
  • Training schemes
  • Education oppurtunities for adults
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Changing patterns of leisure


  • Employment 
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marriage or cohabitation
  • Dependant children
  • Education
  • Income
  • Time available
  • Location
  • Holidays

Changing patterns: people go out to eat more, jobs tend to be sitting down more so people need activity, more leisure activities done at home, more people watch sports at home 

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Definition of homelessness and cause

Homelessness - Having no accomadation available in the UK or elsewhere that is not a movable structure.

Local authorities MUST find accomadation for: pregnant women, elderly, single parents, mentally ill/physically disabled, vunerable people in household, emergency situation at home.


  • eviction
  • illegal activity
  • limited housing supplies (unable to find anywhere)
  • loss of employment, events such as a flood
  • mental/phsyical reasons
  • breakdown in family/relationships

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Effects of homelessness


  • bad hygiene
  • mental problems eg depression, physical problems eg pneumonia 
  • children may miss school, more prone to injury (confined space)
  • lots of people in a confined space
  • boredom - may lead to misuse of drugs/alcohol
  • low self esteem from isolation, bad hygiene, cant participate in extra activities
  • lack of privacy
  • dangerous - nowhere to go
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Types of housing

Two main housing options available:

  • Owner occupied - a home that is bought and paid for by the owner.
  • Rented - can be rented from a registered social landlord, a local authority or a private landlord

Renting from a registered social landlord:

  • Also known as Housing Associations.
  • Offer housing you can pay for through benefits - affordable.
  • Funded by the government; the government sets the rent.
  • Homes are allocated on a points system; people that are given preferance are: most vunerable, overcrowded, elderly, leaving prison.
  • RSL's employ people from a scheme to do up houses, provide jobs AND housing!
  • Support low income, benefits, unemployed, vunerable groups.
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Renting from a private landlord

Tenure - The type of property lived in eg owner occupied or rented

Assured short hold tenancy - Agreement that outlines amount of time in contract to both parties

Tenancy agreement - You can be asked to leave but not forced out. Signed by both parties, and two months notice would be given. 

Housing Act of 2004 - Outlines the health and safety standard of the property and the management standards through licensing. 

The private landlord market has grown over the past decade because more people need to rent as the cost of housing has considerably risen. Also, it is flexible and suits peoples needs more. 

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Buying a home

Conventional home purchase

  • Costs; Utility bills, furniture, council tax, home insurance, maintenance, moving costs, solicitors, stamp duty (% of cost of property)
  • Mortgages; Long term, interest free so in a way it's like renting. The definition of it is a loan from the bank that you pay back in monthly installments over a long period of time.
  • Deposits - % of the total value of the home
  • Repossession - When your bank take back your house if you havent paid mortgage continuously for a few months - this is called 'Being in Arrears'
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Schemes when buying a home and sheltered accomadat

New Build HomeBuy scheme - finds a solution to meet their current needs. Also offers discounted rental schemes for those who are eligible.

Social HomeBuy scheme - Income less than £60,000 per year. Gives tenants a chance to buy a share of their current home.

Open Market HomeBuy - Provides 'equity loans' which enables the person to get a loan alongside their current mortgage even without a deposit.

Sheltered accomadation

advantages of this:

  • suited to their needs, eg adapted with rails and ramps
  • warden on hand to help 24/7
  • its useful if care is necessary for their survival but the person in question still wants to maintain some of their independance.
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Housing design

The lifetime homes standards

There are requirements that every home MUST have:

  • Parking spaces must be minimum 2400mm width.
  • Wheelchair friendly path, must be easy to approach the dwelling via a path (sloping)
  • Approach to all entrances should be level or gently sloping
  • Entrances should be illuminated, level, clear width
  • Communal stairs and lifts - level and accessible
  • Internal doorways and hallways
  • Circulation space - space for turning a wheelchair in dining and living room
  • Enterance level living space - should be on the first level
  • Potential for enterance level bed space
  • Enterance level toilet and potential for a shower (shower drainage)
  • WC and bathroom walls should be capable of fitting rails etc
  • stairs and potential lift space, location of service controls 
  • potential for fitting of bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Glazing and window handle heights
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Recycling processes that are available:

  • Local recycling communcal resources
  • Dumps
  • Government scheme - seperate bins for food waste, paper,  general waste

Waste hierachy: 

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recover
  • Recycle
  • Compost
  • Recover energy
  • Disposal

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  • buy refill packs
  • fewer high quality items
  • less packaging
  • buy loose items of food
  • only buy what you NEED
  • resist offers like buy one get one free if you dont really need


  • food - freeze what you dont use
  • plastic bags
  • clothes, phones
  • bottles
  • rechargable batteries
  • buying coffee/milk in plastic bags
  • tins/containers, envelopes
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Factors in the quality of our environment


  • Global warming - increase in earths surface temp bc of greenhouse gases eg co2. greenhouse gases keep heat close to earth. but global warming means these gases are being overemitted. smarter cars help prevent this. sea levels rose 7 inches over last 100 years. droughts, hurricanes, massive fires, melting of polar caps.
  • Ozone depletion - holes in ozone layer which diminishes protection against UV radiation. THE CFC PROBLEM: CFCs are released and rise to strasophere. sunlight breaks down CFCs releasing atomic chlorine which destroys the ozone. increased UV rays reach earth, increasing risk of skin cancer.
  • Acid rain - mostly in northern hemisphere - more industrialisation. but winds carry emissons far. caused by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from power plants/cars/factories. natural sources also like volcanoes. they become acids when react with water vapour. drop in food.
  • Deforestation - happens bc fires, cutting for agriculture etc. unsustainable logging for timber and degration due to climate change. bad bc forests soak up co2 that would be bad for environment but theyre being cut down!! 15% of greenhouse gas emissions bc of this
  • Fisheries depletion - 2/3 times larger than the world can support. stocks of all species that are currently fished are predicted to collapse by 2048. poor management, pirate fishers, too many boats on water, unfair fishing partnership agreements.
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The Welfare State

Definition : a system whereby the state undertakes to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, especially those in financial or social need,

There are different types of health and social services that are offered. The three types are as follows:

1) PRIVATE provision - these are services that are not offered for free and must be paid for by the person in question. This is offered through all services such as dentistry, doctors etc.

2) STATUTORY provision - this is a service that is offered through the state. The main example of this in the UK is the NHS (National Health Service) which offers free/cheap health care to those who need it. It is paid for through taxes by the public.

3) VOLUNTARY provision - this is when members of the public volunteer to help services such as charities and they provide their service for free. 

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Causes and effects of health problems

  • OBESITY - lifestyle choices (high fat foods, too much alcohol, eating out a lot, larger portions than needed, comfort eating), lack of exercise, genetics, medical reasons, too much salt/sugar/saturated fat. The effects of these can include: type 2 diabetes, heart disease,stroke, depression.
  • DENTAL DECAY - diet (high carbohydrate foods, high sugar foods), poor oral hygiene, smoking having a dry mouth bc of medication or just naturally. effects of this can be: pain, bad breath, painful medical treatments eg extraction.
  • CHD - high cholesterol level (LDL), high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, thrombosis. effects of this can be DEATH.
  • SMOKING - massive increase in health risks such as CHD, heart attack, stroke,empyhasema
  • EXCESS ALCOHOL - effects include alcohol poisoning, cancer, diabetes, poor mental health, liver damage, infertility. 
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Modifications of diet


  • Type 1 - should try to avoid overeating carbohydrates, and generally should aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Type 2 - The diet advice that is generally given out by the NHS is to include starchy carbohydrates with each meal, eat more fruit and vegetables, to eat at least 2 portions of oily fish a week and to cut down on saturated fat, salt and sugars.


  • this diet is obviously GLUTEN FREE. can eat any foods without gluten in such as meat, fish, fruit/veg, rice, potatoes, lentils. there are also plenty of drinks that are gluten free. 


  • osteoporis suffers should try to include the following: DAIRY food such as cheese, canned sardine/salmon, fatty fish, dark green leafy vegetables, fortified foods (fortified with calcium and vitamin D)
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The role of diet and lifestyle with CHD


  • healthy diet should include foods that are low in saturated fats and trans fats. high in omega 3 (found in fish). high in FIBRE. makes u feel fuller for longer. low in salt and sugar.
  • drink a SMALLER amount of alcohol.


  • should try to be as active as possible. approx 3 hours a week.
  • maintain a healthy weight by following the above guides.
  • quitting smoking helps prevent CHD development.
  • managing stress levels. it is thought that stress can contribute to CHD development.
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Current health education and policies

  • 5 a day has now been increased to 7 A DAY! fruit and vegetables only have positive effects on health!
  • healthy eating plate - shows how much is recommended of each food groups
  • working with schools to help children to be healthier including healthy school meals, obligatory to do exercise at school.
  • easier to walk/cycle, many more cycle routes.
  • schools fruit and veg schemes
  • improved food labelling - traffic light labelling
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