Education and population-wide ‘health behaviour change’
Ideally, education alone is insufficient in prompting effective population-wide “health behaviour change”. Despite the efforts exerted by governments, health activists, and other health organizations so as to provide vast education on health matters, limited health behaviour changes have been attained. Evidently, most people have not fully embraced the principles of living healthy (Kovner, Knickman & Jonas, 2011). Some individuals still go against the conventional health requirements. This occurs regardless of their educational standards. For instance, statistics indicate that many people across the world still smoke despite the warnings against cigarette smoking. Consequently, there is a high prevalence of lung cancer and liver infections. Even though there is adequate information on how to practice and maintain viable eating habits, most individuals hardly eat sensibly. As a result, a lot of diseases, that could otherwise be avoided, still threaten the human race.
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In this context, there is still a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS across the world despite the education carried out on how to avert its spread. Unprotected sex is still rampant regardless of the education attained against it. Although information from the internet, books, journals, and other sources indicate that daily physical exercise is a necessity for healthy living, a number of people do not exercise. Thus, they are affected by diseases like diabetes, obesity, and coronary ailments (French, 2010). Unhealthy behaviours like excessive drinking of alcohol increase the chances of acquiring liver diseases and cancer. Moreover, people are supposed to maintain some levels of hygiene. Nevertheless, some individuals have failed to do so despite their knowledge of the consequences. As a result, there are still high incidences of cholera infections. Due to these ineffective health behaviour changes, there has been a dramatic increase in mortality. A lot of people die at an early age simply because they have ignored the relevant information regarding healthy living, public health, and sanitation. Precisely, these arguments indicate how education alone has not promoted effective healthy living within societies. There is still more to be done so as to attain the desired health standards. This is a considerable provision when scrutinised critically.
How politics has influenced the population health behaviour change
Various health policies enacted in various countries have significantly contributed to ineffective “health behaviour changes”. Due to politics, prostitution is still legalized in some countries. This has greatly propelled the spread of HIV/AIDS and other health concerns. Additionally, some governments have not provided enough condoms and viable protective measures due to poor governance and dreadful politics. This has greatly contributed to negative health behaviours. Contextually, most people are still having unprotected sex. Despite the adequate programs and education on the prevalence of HIV, there are insufficient policies enacted to deal with this epidemic (Kovner, Knickman & Jonas, 2011).
Besides, there are fewer alternatives for the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases due to inconsiderable policies, dire politics, and misdirected interests. Various health rules and regulations enacted by the government can greatly affect the health behaviour of an individual. People staying in countries without strong smoking and drinking rules might smoke and drink uncontrollably (French, 2010). Additionally, due to unstable politics, there are limited health facilities hence most people do not seek medical attention in hospitals when they are sick. Similarly, it is agreeable that people who are unable to access good meals, clean drinking water, and medical facilities might experience poor health. This can be contributed to the government’s failure to provide affordable health provisions and sustainable public health. This indicates that not only education can enhance health behaviour change but also other political influences. Additionally, some governments have failed to establish family planning measures.
Economic influences on population-wide health behaviour change
Due to economic inequality, some individuals are not able to access clean water, medical provisions, and other health provisions. Eventually, this has led to poor health among the concerned societies. Besides, health conditions (like obesity), which are caused by poor diet and lack of physical exercises are some of the major causes of death. These can be prevented by practicing and embracing good public health (Browning & Thomas, 2005). Due to high health costs, many people are not able to access viable medical provisions. Additionally, the affordable costs of alcohol and cigarettes have led to their excessive consumption. This indicates the noticed negative health behaviours (Browning & Thomas, 2005). In addition, despite educational dominance, most countries cannot afford to provide the necessary health provisions for their citizens due to economic instability. Many people living in rural areas are not able to eat healthy foods due to poverty. Additionally, most families are in constant fights over domestic wrangles promoted by poverty. This has led to increased cases of mental illnesses. Besides, economic factors have greatly influenced the health behaviour of the entire population and the society at large. Precisely, the economic status of a country or a given population can influence its behaviour change despite the levels of education.
Effect of psychology on health behaviour change
Psychologically, the behaviours of some individuals hardly relate to the levels of their education. Many people in society have been affected by their emotional mindsets. This has resulted in negative health behaviour. Arguably, it is evident that many individuals who come from families where parents take alcohol tend to be more vulnerable to alcoholism compared to those who come from non-alcoholic parents (Elder, 2001). Most people have a mentality that smoking offers an excellent opportunity to relax thus helpful in relieving stress. Psychologically, it is believed that individuals whose previous generations had suffered from chronic infections like cancer, diabetes, and hypertension will also experience such health complications.
Many individuals hardly take certain nutritional foods. They psychologically doubt their viability or they sometimes believe that such foods were damned by society. It is possible to psychologically condemn some health issues despite their applicability. This can occur regardless of the educational levels of the concerned individuals. Besides, there are behavioural conditions, which have negative effects on the overall physical health of a person (French, 2010). People have bizarre thoughts when it comes to certain diseases like HIV/AIDs. They always believe that no one can survive once affected by the disease. Consequently, they hardly search for the remedial measures available.
How does philosophy affect the changes in health behaviour
Philosophy has a considerable effect on the “health behaviour change” mentioned earlier. For instance, in the American context, people have failed to balance their healthcare costs with the quality of medical provisions they access. As a result, many people go for cheap but compromised medical facilities instead of supporting the Medicare scheme for quality health provisions (Elder, 2001). Additionally, various studies carried out indicate that HIV is factual; however, most individuals have hardly honoured this fact. It is crucial to conclude that education alone is insufficient in prompting effective population-wide health behaviour change as argued earlier.
Browning, C. & Thomas, S. (2005). Behavioural change: An evidence-based handbook for social and public health. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Elder, J. (2001). Behavior change & public health in the developing world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
French, D. (2010). Health psychology. Oxford: BPS Blackwell.
Kovner, A., Knickman, J. & Jonas, S. (2011). Jonas & Kovner’s health care delivery in the United States. New York, NY: Springer.