Define Health Disadvantage
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is, “a condition of full mental and physical health with no limitations.” Various definitions have been employed over the years for varying purposes. In its most broad sense, the term health is simply a state of being in good condition. However, when a person is unhealthy, that person may experience emotional distress as well as physical discomfort.
Some of the terms often used to describe a person’s general health include physical well-being, psychological well-being, and physiological well-being. Health behaviors are those that we engage in to improve our odds of staying healthy and managing disease or injury. These can include diet and exercise, smoking cessation, weight management, stress management, and other general practices aimed at maintaining or improving wellness. The concepts of wellness and disease are connected, because the goal is to prevent illness and injury from occurring. One way to do this is through taking steps to reduce the risk factors associated with such illness and injury.
The goal of good health is to facilitate the prevention of death and disability caused by illness or injury, while prolonging life and improving quality of life. Prevention is better than treatment. While treatment can prevent the spread of disease, preventing the development of it can help to reduce the risk factors associated with its development. The term “environmental factors” refers to those “which cause or increase the likelihood of developing a specific disease or impairment.”
The National Institute of Health defines good health as having a low expectancy of mortality; low probability of complications from chronic diseases; an adequate level of community health and safety; and a functional capacity for pain management. In the United States, these conditions are defined as being within the range of what would be expected for a healthy adult, given current conditions, age, physical capabilities, and resources. Health means a lot of things to different people. It is used to describe the way we view and experience health, to control health, and to promote health.
The focus of public health, therefore, is to promote wellness in the population through the identification and assessment of risk factors and the modification of these risk factors. These measures affect the prevalence of diseases and the incidence of new diseases. In essence, public health aims to provide control, prevention, and early detection of diseases, so that they may be prevented and treated. In the United States, health services are provided through state and local departments as well as through private agencies.
The National Health Service Act of 1948 authorizes the Secretary to establish such national programs as the National Health Service Corps, the Health Insurance Training Centers, the Extension of Medicaid, the National Practitioner Development Month, the Technical Assistance Programs, the Pioneer Programs, and the Family Service. Among these activities, the National Health Service Corps is one of the most important, as it develops a framework for training providers, pays for the costs of health aides, and tries to prevent health disparities. This framework sets the tone for national health services in general. Other organizations that define health disparities in the country include the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of National AIDS Policy, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Social Security Council, the Federal Action Agenda for Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Service Excellence, the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Other Related Disorders. These organizations work towards creating a more level playing field in health care for everyone.