Promoting Healthy Life Courses for Older Adults
In modern society, one of the largest and most influential influences on our health and well being are the media. It’s not just what we read, hear and see; it’s also how and where those things are presented and sold. And although some of us may be lucky enough to escape the television or radio in most of our free time, much of the world is affected by it. We’re bombarded with advertising that is often not relevant, inaccurate and outright misleading.
The need for a healthy and livable society has long been recognized, and it’s just as important to recognize the human right to health promotion as it is to protect our environment. Health is a basic human right and the promotion of healthy living is a vital component of the fight against disease. Although public awareness and education efforts have helped to reduce the impact of advertising on the general population, the impact of advertising still plays an important part in shaping the health and well-being needs of the population. Health promotion is a powerful tool to address the multiple challenges that face our society. Defining health promotion as a component of a comprehensive campaign against chronic disease will help to ensure that the resources that are necessary for public health, education and prevention programs are made available at the community level.
Healthy life courses are particularly important for populations that have experienced a decline in life expectancy or that are experiencing a disproportionate amount of death or disability from disease. Healthy lifestyles, including healthy diets, regular exercise and exposure to a wide range of environmental toxins can reduce the impact of chronic disease on the health and prosperity of an individual and his or her family. The absence of obvious diseases such as diabetes or heart disease does not mean that a healthy diet and lifestyle are not necessary for everyone. It does mean that more attention should be paid to prevention. Programs that focus on prevention will have a greater chance of success when health promotion is included as an element of their strategy.