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      Health Promotion: An Effective Tool for Global Health


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          Health promotion is very relevant today. There is a global acceptance that health and social wellbeing are determined by many factors outside the health system which include socioeconomic conditions, patterns of consumption associated with food and communication, demographic patterns, learning environments, family patterns, the cultural and social fabric of societies; sociopolitical and economic changes, including commercialization and trade and global environmental change. In such a situation, health issues can be effectively addressed by adopting a holistic approach by empowering individuals and communities to take action for their health, fostering leadership for public health, promoting intersectoral action to build healthy public policies in all sectors and creating sustainable health systems. Although, not a new concept, health promotion received an impetus following Alma Ata declaration. Recently it has evolved through a series of international conferences, with the first conference in Canada producing the famous Ottawa charter. Efforts at promoting health encompassing actions at individual and community levels, health system strengthening and multi sectoral partnership can be directed at specific health conditions. It should also include settings-based approach to promote health in specific settings such as schools, hospitals, workplaces, residential areas etc. Health promotion needs to be built into all the policies and if utilized efficiently will lead to positive health outcomes.

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          Most cited references33

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          A Dictionary of Epidemiology

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            Influencing public nutrition for non-communicable disease prevention: from community intervention to national programme--experiences from Finland.

            A global health transition is currently underway. The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing rapidly in the developing world, very much as a result of changes in lifestyles. In addition to changes in tobacco use and physical activity, major changes are taking place in diets, contributing greatly to the growing epidemic of NCD. Thus, a huge global public health challenge is how to influence the trends in diet and nutrition for effective global NCD prevention. The health transition took place rapidly in Finland after World War II and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) was exceptionally high. The North Karelia Project was launched in 1972 as a community-based, and later as a national, programme to influence diet and other lifestyles that are crucial in the prevention of CVD. The intervention had a strong theory base and it employed comprehensive strategies. Broad community organisation and the strong participation of people were the key elements. Evaluation has shown how the diet (particularly fat consumption) has changed and how these changes have led to a major reduction in population serum cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It has also shown how ischaemic heart disease mortality in a working-age population has declined by 73% in North Karelia and by 65% in the whole country from 1971 to 1995. Although Finland is an industrialised country, North Karelia was rural, of rather low socio-economic level and with many social problems in the 1970s and 1980s. The project was based on low-cost intervention activities, where people's participation and community organisations played a key role. Comprehensive interventions in the community were eventually supported by national activities--from expert guidelines and media activities to industry collaboration and policy. Similar principles for nutrition intervention programmes could be used in developing countries, obviously tailored to the local conditions. This paper discusses the experiences of the North Karelia Project in the light of needs from the less-industrialised countries and makes some general recommendations.
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              Evolution of the determinants of health, health policy, and health information systems in Canada.

              The history of health determinants in Canada influenced both the direction of data gathering about population health and government policies designed to improve health. Two competing movements marked these changes. The idea of health promotion grew out of the 1974 Lalonde report, which recognized that determinants of health went beyond traditional public health and medical care, and argued for the importance of socioeconomic factors. Research on health inequalities was led by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research in the 1980s, which produced evidence of health inequalities along socioeconomic lines and argued for policy efforts in early child development. Both movements have shaped current information gathering and the policies that have come to be labeled "population health."

                Author and article information

                Indian J Community Med
                Indian J Community Med
                Indian Journal of Community Medicine : Official Publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Jan-Mar 2012
                : 37
                : 1
                : 5-12
                [1]International Institute of Health Management Research, New Delhi, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Prof. Sanjiv Kumar, Dean Training, Research and Publications, IIHMR, Plot No. 3, Sector 18A, Dwarka, New Delhi- 110 075, India. E-mail: drsanjivkumardixit@ 123456gmail.com
                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Community Medicine

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 14 January 2012
                : 14 January 2012

                Public health
                mainstreaming health promotion,issue based approach,health promotion,healthy public policy,healthy settings


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