Some Important Health Equity Concepts

We all agree that the key to optimal health is a balanced and nutritious diet. But there are many other elements to good health. Each of our bodies requires vitamins and minerals to survive. As we age, a decreased ability to process nutrition, along with an excess of toxins in the body, can contribute to poor health.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a “healthy lifestyle is a mode of life that meets the needs of the individual in terms of physical, mental, social and economic well-being.” Various definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. The current Universal Health Program of the United Nations is the largest global collaborative effort on health and well-being. A well-rounded definition for optimal health is appropriate for the Universal Health System (USF), which includes all the world’s nations, because the USF defines health as “the achievement of the highest possible level of well-being for the entire human population through comprehensive policies and practices.”

The National Health Information Center (NICE) developed a third definition of healthy. The third definition, based on the philosophy, “Excess risk or threat to health is to be expected”, incorporates the idea that unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors are responsible for the large majority of preventable deaths and diseases. In addition, NICE proposes that wellness should be balanced. This suggests that some diseases may be allowed to persist if they are not endemic to a particular area or nation. Examples of these types of diseases are chronic conditions.

In its second definition, the NICE proposes that people living in communities should expect to have access to medical care if necessary. These individuals may have some immunity against particular diseases, but they may not necessarily be in a healthy condition. In its first definition, healthy was defined as having an optimum level of physical fitness, social connections, and income level. It also implied that adequate nutrition and regular exercise were essential components of a healthy lifestyle.

An alternative approach to a healthy lifestyle is influenced by the social determinants of health. Socio-economic status and the environment one lives in have a major impact on health. The social determinants of health may include ethnicity, gender, ethnicity, place of birth, social hierarchy, social support networks, health services, disability, life experiences, socioeconomic status, occupational class, occupation, geographic location, and health service availability. As a result of these social determinants of health, the physical environment, and personal characteristics are important factors that affect a person’s chance of acquiring a certain illness or disease.

The third definition of health equity continues with the notion that health is affected by the history of health care equity. This concept is based on the assumption that differences in health between groups will continue to exist unless the differences are altered. This definition includes differences in quality of life, access to health care, insurance coverage and cost, use of medications, social service availability, life expectancy, financial security, access to health care, healthy past diet, exercise, obesity and weight, social integration, cultural and recreational activities, and environmental quality of life. These were some of the factors that affect health equity.

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