Explain the Effects of socioeconomic influences on health.
The UK is faced with a range of health issues that require intervention of the government to keep the population healthy. Issues that revolve around healthy and lifestyles affect majority of the population and lead to conditional diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart attack that cost the economy a lot of resources in managing the condition (Raphael, 2016). This calls for the need to have health promotions that focus on addressing the health challenges that expose people to such problems. Simandan (2017) adds that the challenges are sometimes caused by the individual while at the same time caused by the inequalities that exist in the society and the conflict between government policies and industry initiatives to promote business. Inequalities exist based on how social determinants of health combine to shape the level of access that people have on health. These inequalities exist globally or nationally but affect people at an individual level through the socio-economic environment, physical environment and personal characteristics and behavior that shape the lives of individuals (Mackenbach, et al., 2005; Andermann, 2016)). The factors combine together and are then influenced by income which limits the ability of people to manage the health conditions that they have. For example, in the case of healthy eating and lifestyle, people from low socio-economic backgrounds have challenges managing healthy eating habits since they are constrained with resources that limit their access to food.
The effects of socioeconomic influences on healthy eating and lifestyle
Scholars have debated on the role of economic factors on the health and wellbeing of the population. Islam, Gerdtham, Clarke, & Burstrom (2009) suggests that these socioeconomic factors exist at the local, national and the international level with elements used to quantify the impact of social determinants of health. Social determinants of health have been in use to explain how socioeconomic conditions of people influence the health outcomes and risks factors that they expose themselves to. The socioeconomic status of the individual is defined as the individual’s position in the socioeconomic structure of the society and is seen as a key determinant of their life chances in health (Hill, Amos, Clifford, & Platt, 2018). According to Kawachi (2007) socieconomic factors include employment, education and income that influence the ability of people to access and afford healthcare. This perspective suggests that the level of income of the individual determines the risks factors that people get exposed to. Researchers have identified a vicious circle that relates poor healthy eating and lifestyles to poverty. This is seen in the prevalence of health conditions among people from lower socioeconomic strata of the society.
According to Brcic, Eberdt, & Kaczorowski (2011) researchers have attempted to analyze the relationship between poverty and healthy eating and lifestyle and discovered that it was higher in individuals with lower socioeconomic status. This is defined by the social class that people hold within the society. What people eat and the lifestyles that they lead is constrained by social and cultural factors that exist within the society. There are differences in social classes concerning food and nutrient intake. According to Puolakka, et al. (2018) this is defined by the physiological, social, psychological, commercial and cultural web of interaction among this group of people (Paulik, Bóka, Kertész, Balogh, & László Nagymajtényi, 2010; Frimpong, 2014)). The common factor associated with such eating styles is the increased rate of obesity and other eating styles amongst this population. From the social determinants perspective, healthy eating and lifestyle challenges among the poor indicate deeper problems that this population has and struggle to deal with (McNeil, Guirguis-Younger, Dilley, Turnbull, & Hwang, 2013). Most poor people have challenges meeting their basic needs which leader to low health and lifestyle options that they rely on.
However, argues that Simandan (2018) descending voices of the socioeconomic perspective suggests that these people do not have unhealthy eating and lifestyle because they are poor but rather they lack adequate support programs that can enable them to understand proper ways of livelihood. Poor communities are not protected like the richer ones and lack access to healthcare programs. The rich enjoy better opportunities since they live in urban areas that have a range of healthy eating and lifestyle programs (Molarius, et al., 2009). On the other hand, rural people lack access to such privileges which makes it difficult for them to access these programs that assist them in understanding and maintaining healthy eating and lifestyle. Healthy eating requires knowledge on food choices and available opportunities that they access within their locality. Poor people face healthy eating and lifestyle challenges since they lack adequate information on how to make the right choices. Despite the regulations that exist on food and lifestyle within the society. People from low socioeconomic status and rural areas do not access this information that can be used to make the right choices. Unlike those who live in urban centers where access to health and lifestyle related information is easy, rural people and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds face more challenges in meeting the healthy eating and lifestyle.
Therefore, income determines the socioeconomic status of the individual by defining the patterns of life that they lead. Higher socioeconomic status increases education levels which is related to the ability of the person to afford a healthy lifestyle and at the same time it offers a variety of life choices that once can choose from. Poor people have a lot of stress in meeting healthy lifestyles thus having a challenge meeting relevant eating styles (Krebs Smith, Guenther, Subar, Kirkpatrick, & Dodd, 2010). The social environment that people live in determines the everyday life, cultural conditions and habits that people have. These creates social forces that influence a series of choices that individual make about food, exercise and substance use.
- The relevance of government sources in reporting on inequalities in health
Challenges in reporting social inequalities in health have been attributed to the multifaceted impact of social and economic factors within the population (Benatar, Gill, & Bakker, 2011). Government sources have failed to report the exact inequalities that the communities face. This is driven by the politics of policy which requires the government to be accountable for the issues that face the community. The reporting frameworks that exist focus on the common issues that can be easily seen and reported by the media and at the same time ensure that they report issues that meet the needs of policy (Naik, et al., 2017). Politicians have been reported to use the challenges that communities face to spearhead their agenda. Therefore, when governments are reporting inequalities, the political wing can influence the reporting to ensure that they reflect the needs of the government rather than the real issues on the ground.
The challenge in reporting inequalities in government sources depends on the mechanism that the government is using to address such issues. For example in the UK, there is a general commitment by the government to equality issues through putting them in policy and reporting each of them. This makes the figures reliable since the reporting system distinguishes between the poor health of socioeconomically disadvantaged people, the health gaps in different groups and social gradients across the whole population (Mackenbach, Looman, & Van-der Meer, 2006). This process allows the government to develop strategies for classifying the inequalities and determining how they affect the country. Most European countries took an initiative in fighting poverty and social exclusion based on the Amsterdam treaty one of the central elements of modernization based on articles 136 and 137 of the treaty. This means that the reliability of reporting on inequalities depends entirely on the initiatives put in place by governments to address the inequalities that affect the population (Yach, et al., 2010). When policies are put in place, relevant government agencies have to ensure that they account for the resources spend by the government in ensuring that the inequalities are reduced. This leads to quality outcome reporting of the issues that affect the population.
- The reasons for barriers to accessing healthcare
Barriers in access to healthcare are defined by the level of access to timely use of health services according to the need. When people fail to get the required health assistance during a particular time, then they are facing barriers that can arise as part of the social inequalities that exist within the population. Healthcare utilization is a proxy measure for healthcare access which determines the ability of the individual to access healthcare any time they want (Black, et al., 2008). One reason for barrier to accessing healthcare is the geographic accessibility which is defined by service location. People who live far from health facilities find it difficult to access healthcare since they require other resources like transportation to reach the facility. When such people are constrained by lack of such resources, it becomes difficult for such people to access healthcare.
Another reason for barriers is lack of information on healthcare service providers. In most cases, people have different health needs that require their information on the source of health service that they can seek. Education is one of the limitations that people have when seeking services that they can seek assistance from. For example, working class people can have designated places that they are allowed to seek medical care from. This makes it easy for them to access healthcare as compared to those who are personally seeking healthcare. People from low-income areas lack information which makes them unable to understand the health services that can be used to support them in meeting the healthy eating and lifestyle. Leading a healthy lifestyle requires an understanding of the strategies that people need to put in place to address health-related challenges that they face.
Psychological reasons also affect the way people think about the services that they receive. For example, stereotypes have been associated with certain groups of people which makes it difficult for them to seek healthcare with confidence. For example, people who had a bad experience about a particular healthcare need can be psychologically disturbed when seeking health services. This can be influenced by cultural and language barriers of patients which also affect their health seeking patterns (Scheppers, Dongen, Dekker, Geertzen, & Dekker, 2006). This is seen in the issue of social care where most services are offered in English in the UK making it difficult for non-native English speakers. Further, issues of stigma exist within the community around certain types of illness. Patients who are prone to stigma can fail to disclose their health condition and any care needs that they require. For example, some conditions can affect asylum seeking in refugee groups thus making it difficult for such people to disclose the health problems that they have.
The link between government strategies and healthy eating and lifestyle
The government strategies are system based ways of ensuring that there is a paradigm shift in the environment that people operate in. Since healthy eating and lifestyle starts as a habit which is adapted from the knowledge that people have, then it means that the health of the population can be improved through assisting the population to understand the importance (Tengland, 2012). The government has recognized this challenge by taking a behavioral approach of changing the society to ensure that young people do not develop poor healthy eating and lifestyle attitudes that will affect them in future. One way to control healthy eating and lifestyle within the population is managing the problem by ensuring that the number of people with better unhealthy eating and lifestyles is reduced as much as possible (Zangerle, 2016). This strategy reduces the resource burden that the government will face in future for dealing with unhealthy eating and poor lifestyle related challenges. Gorski & Roberto (2015) suggests that since eating is a biological need that people have to satisfy every day, then healthy eating and lifestyle programs can be unsuccessful unless a behavioral approach is taken by introducing new norms in the society that can make develop a different perception on unhealthy eating and lifestyle. This makes the society to understand the effects of unhealthy foods and lifestyle thus making them develop norms for addressing the health challenge.
Gearhardt, Grilo, DiLeone, Brownell, & Potenza (2011) adds that tthrough reshaping the wellbeing and self-esteem of the society, new social norms are developed within the community to allow young children to learn them from infancy and understand that unhealthy eating and lifestyle is undesirable. The role of the socialization process is to acquaint individual with the norms required in the society. By reshaping the norms and defining healthy eating and lifestyle differently children grow up understanding that the importance of unhealthy eating and lifestyle is harmful to their health and can view those who do not observe this as being less concerned with their health (Schulte, Avena, & Gearhardt, 2015; Block & Christina A. Roberto, 2014)). People from poor socioeconomic backgrounds do not understand the importance of healthy eating but rather eat whatever is available to them. Therefore, the strategy adopted by the government is a behavioral approach to make the society develop new definitions of healthy eating and lifestyle making people understand that poor healthy eating habits and lifestyle change since it reduces the economic burden associated with healthy related diseases.
The role of a professional in meeting government targets for health promotion in reducing the number of unhealthy eating and lifestyle in UK.
According to López-Casasnovas, & Soley-Bori (2014) health professionals have a consensus that they should participate in advising and encouraging healthy eating and lifestyle to their patients. When assessing the health pattern of the individual and collecting information regarding the patient, the professional is supposed to offer instant therapeutic advice to the patient. Therefore, physicians can ensure that the government meets the target for health promotion, healthy eating and lifestyle by offering advice to the patient. Sometimes it is difficult for government strategies to reach all patients since most of them do not get the required information on the strategies that they can use or where they can get healthy eating and lifestyle information (Michie, Abraham, Eccles, Francis, Hardeman & Johnston, 2011). Therefore practitioners can reach out to patients by offering relevant healthy eating and lifestyle change advice or information to patients. Since practitioners interact with patients at a personal level, it becomes easy for them to share relevant information with patients which leads to achieved government targets in an effort to reduce the effects of unhealthy eating and lifestyle. Therefore, professionals are charged with the responsibility of passing over healthy eating and lifestyle information to reduce the diseases that are related to this challenge. Government programs and initiatives do not reach all people at the same time, but practitioners can extend this knowledge through community health extension workers who keep the community informed of what is required of them.
The routines that need to be carried out to achieve healthy eating and lifestyle
According to Lewis, et al. (2005) to maintain a helathy eating and lifestylepattern, one needs a routine that is observed daily to control the way they consume food and lead their life. Such routines consist of strategies that the individual uses to address health related challenges that they face.
The first routine in leading healthy eating and lifestyle pattern is stocking the kitchen with the right food.
Then one has to have a meal plan for the day on the number of foods to be taken and the amount of portions for each. This is organizing the available resources together to determine the amount of food rations that can be bought with the available resources.
The next step is to ensure that vegetables or fruits appear at every meal. This is to ensure that the diet is enriched with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The role is to lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Then there is need to avoid fast foods and other processed foods like chocolates and ice cream which are rich in sugar that and starch that increases the likelihood of diabetes and other health-related diseases. Carrying packed lunch ensures that one can maintain a healthy pattern of eating.
Once there is a plan for a healthy diet, there is need to control and manage cravings for tempting foods which are not in the diet plan. This include candies, chocolates, ice cream, sodas and any other food stuff that does not fall within the category of foods that one needs to eat.
Lastly, there is need to have a schedule of exercise that is done on a routine basis to keep one physically fit. This is planning the exercise according to the daily schedules of the individual and ensuring that they are physically fit. Routine exercise is used to burn any extra calories that one has and ensuring that they are their bodies are fit.
Lastly, one needs to identify lifestyle activities that need to be changed as to achieve healthy patterns. Changing lifestyle entails working on both healthy eating and lifestyle itself to ensure that one achieves the right activities that lead to improve body health.
How health beliefs relate to the theories of health behavior
The health belief system focusses on the beliefs that people have about the health problems that they face, the perceived benefits of seeking health intervention and the barriers to action that define the health seeking behavior (Senior & Chenhall, 2013). Any health seeking behavior adopted by the patient is triggered by a stimulus or cue that leads to health seeking and promoting behavior. This is influenced by perceived severity, susceptibility, benefits and barriers that one faces during the process of seeking health. The health belief model seeks to explain why some people fail to use health services such as immunization and screening. The factors of perceived severity, susceptibility, benefits and barriers work together to influence the likelihood of the approach that the individual takes towards a health issue. Since people come from different socio-cultural backgrounds, they have different health beliefs that influence their health seeking behavior and their understanding of the importance of health seeking behavior. In most cases, this behavior is influenced by access to health information that changes their beliefs and influences their health seeking behavior.
The theory of reasoned action assumes that behaviors of social relevance are under the control of the individual and the intention to perform some behaviors is both an immediate determinant and the predictor of the behavior. This means that people have a strong intention to perform a certain task if they believe the task has some benefits. This means that any health seeking behavior that people assume is based on the perceived believe that they have on the benefits that they expect from the process. People will evaluate the benefits of any action before they can take the action itself. Since health seeking behavior is an action on its own, then patients’ decision to visit a health center is formed by personal beliefs and experiences that they hold. For example, when people decide to seek healthy eating and lifestyle assistance, then they have weighed the options that exist and seen the challenges of continuing leading unhealthy eating and lifestyle and the benefits of cessation.
The trans-theoretical model of intentional change suggests that individuals pass through a series of five stages to change their behavior. These stages are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance (Carpenter, 2010). The pre-contemplation stage is the most important stage that forms the health seeking behavior of the individual. For example, in the case of unhealthy eating and lifestyle, the contemplation stage entails weighing the options that exist and choosing the best course of action that they need to take. Here, people base on the health information that they have gathered through any source to inform them of the consequences of the kind of life that they are leading. By understanding the effects of unhealthy eating and lifestyle, people contemplate between seeking assistance for lifestyle change and maintaining the unhealthy habit (Munro, Lewin, Swart, & Volmink, 2017). The beliefs that they have form their attitude and understanding of the risks that unhealthy eating and lifestyle exposes them to. Those who come from low socio-economic backgrounds may have challenges developing health seeking patterns since the background that they come from gives them less options that make it difficult for them to have healthy choices.
Possible effects of potential conflicts with local industry healthy eating and lifestyle promotion.
Conflict of interest can occur between professional, industry and government initiatives on the best course of action for health promotions that seek to inform the community on the strategies that can be taken to reduce the challenges associated with this health issue. Stuckler & Nestle (2012) suggests that this conflict is seen in the evidence that exists in dramatic changes in food systems and ways of feeding populations that have been globally imposed transnational corporations that have shaped the way food is produced, supplied prepare and even eaten as a way of generating income for these organizations to increase their market share. Newton, Lloyd-Williams, Bromley, & Capewell (2016) suggests that changes in healthy eating and lifestyles are iinitiated through policies that lead to structural changes within the system to ensure that the food industry complies with the requirements. However, conflict of interests leads to aggressive strategies by the business sector to prevent and delay the solutions suggested. The food industry corporations understand that theprofitsthat they make in business are based on lack of structuralregulations within the food sector that allows free trade and manufactureof food products. Changes in the structural nature of the community means that there is increased awarenesss on healthyeating and lifestyle which leads to changes in thepopulation that risk the businessneeds of corporations.
The issue of healthyeating and lifestyleabout the food sector has intensified with diffferent parties taking part in the debate. The civil society, and the media have been in used as tools for championing the needs of the food industry through ensuringthat policies developed favour them in everyway. Unhealthylifestyles have been an issue and yet food products and drinks that cause health problems exist. Despite the effects of drugs like alcohol and tobaccothey are still being produced in the society since food producing corporations are working on way of ensuring that their business remains stable. These corporations fund research that favours them and ensure that the policies formulated do not directly affect them through regulation. They use counter strategies to avoid regulation and sometime fund research that seeks to defend the role that they have in the society. The outcome is an interference with the policy formulation process.
Hawkes, Jewell, & Allen (2013) suggests that managing the communities’ healthy eating and lifestyle choices has been the biggest problem that food manufacturing corporations have explored. Since they understand the government lacks the authority to control the way people purchase and utilize these products, they use aggressive marketing strategies to make the product look more appealing to the public. Through brand imaging and use of brand ambassadors, the food industry ensures that people utilise their products without putting limits on the maximum portion or amount that one needs to take. For example, the food packagingpolicy in the UK requires manufacturers to label the package with the number of calories. However, this is less effective since the retail shops are not regulated to limit the number of packets that one can buy nor are they labelled with the maximum amount that one needs to take. The outcome of this is a free ssocietythat buys in a liberal way.
The importance of providing relevant health information on healthy eating and lifestyle to the public
Healthy eating and lifestyle starts with providing the public with positive awareness information on the effects of unhealthy eating and lifestyle and the need for leading a healthy life. From the determinants of health perspective, people from low socioeconomic backgrounds lack access to relevant public health information that can assist them to make relevant choices on healthy eating and lifestyle. These people do not have access to clinical information which can influence the possibility of one choosing to better ways of their life (Bergsvik & Rogeberg, (2018). When people access healthcare information in hospital facilities and other sources, it increases their healthy seeking behavior since they have facts that they require to intervene their healthcare challenges. From the health belief model, people make healthcare decisions based on the perceived need that they see from the process. This information entails the effects of unhealthy eating and lifestyle, diseases related to the problem and support services that the community can access. The outcome is increased awareness and behavior seeking mechanisms. People also get access to relevant information about alternatives for healthy eating and lifestyle that patients can use to reduce craving for certain foods and maintaining a good diet. Once people understand that these alternatives exist within the environment that they stay in, it becomes easy for them to start the healthy eating and lifestyle.
According to West (2014) when accurate health information is provided to the public on the risks associated with unhealthy eating and lifestyle, there is informed decision making among the population which increases healthy eating and lifestyle attempts. Consumers rely mostly on the media to get information to use for perceivingthe challenges and risks associated with certain behaviors. The media commercializes unhealthy foods like chocolates and lifestyles by making them appear desirable to the public thus increasing the craving. This information does not offer the effects of such lifestles and the diseases that they cause. Commercial advertisements use the modelling approach to define how eating certain foods is seen as modern rather than attempting to inform the public to regulate their healthy eating styles (Gomes, 2014). On the other hand, there is a lot of disinformation from food industries which seek to ensure that what the public gets what suits their business needs. In most cases, industries fund research that meets their business needs rather than public needs. Therefore, Sharma, Teret, & Brownell (2010) suggest that providing accurate information corrects the beliefs that people have and solves the belief errors thus leading to improved decision making in the community. In some cases beliefs make people feel that seeking healthcare assistance can cause more harm to them than benefits. For example, stereotypes relating unhealthyeating and lifestyle issues like obesity make it difficult for those affected to seek assistance because of stigma related challenges. On the other hand, these industries use corporate social responsibility to counter any negative consumer perceptions that arise due to government research or policies on the effects of the products. Once the community feels that the industry is giving back to the community, then they support such industries which creates conflict between government intitiatives and industrystrategies.
Task four-sexual health promotion among teenagers
How the selected health promotion campaign will improve the health, extend life, expectancy and encourage healthy lving in the UK
Gadkari, Somani, Nayak, & Giri (2012) suggests that teenagers within the age of 13-18 start experiencing sexual developments in their bodies that if not guided can affect their future lives. This makes the group of children to have a special sexual and reproductive need that needs to be addressed. Salam, et al. (2016) adds that today, children have access to unregulated internet which allows them access information that is beyond their age or needs guidance from parents. However, most parents lack time with their children because of the nature of activities that they do and the rate of permisiveness within the society. Instititutions like the church and family are slowly losing their role because of the effects of modernity. This leaves most children on their own when they undergo this development in their life (Manlove, Fish, & Moore, 2015). To solve this problem, they reportto any source of information that can use to get answers for the questions that need to be answered by the society. This leaves them with peer pressure and the internet as the only source of information that they can get answers. However, what they get here is misinformation and curiosity which pushes them to experiment every aspect of life that they have learned. This indicates how vulnerable the youth are and the need for sexual health awareness to enlighten them o how to take control of their lives.
Medley, Kennedy, & O’Reilly (2014) suggests that sex is a natural part of life thathappens with or without sexual education. There is no sexual class that teaches people how to have sex but rather its a subconsious process that exists naturally. The challenges that the teenagers of today face call for the need for sexual education as a way of keeping them informed of the challenges that exist in the society (Hatami, Kazemi, & Mehrabi, 2015). From unwanted pregnancies, to abortions and use of contraceptives, the society needs to address these issues for a better future. The teenage generation is at a reproductive risk due to these challenges. Sexual health education empowers this group with relevant knowledge for tackling these issues and ensuring that they channel their energies to rewards better activities in the society (Emmerson, 2013). The outcome of teenagers who have received sexual education is delayed sex since it encourages them to learn how to control their bodies. By understanding the topic of sex through sexual education, it becomeseasy to manage and control bodily challenges that drive them to sex thus delaying it until a later date in life and focussing on other life prioritieslike education.
The topic of sex education has today been expanded beyond the biology of puberty to address issues like relationships that exist in the real life context. Scholars have argued that teaching sex education to teenagers is a way of extendng the same knowledge to other levels of the society (Moronkola, Ojediran, & Amosu, 2006). This is the background of building a better society by allowing children to be open about the topic of sex education and sharing it comfortably with their parents and peers. The same teenagers will one day be parents and the same way the information was shared to them is the similar to what they will use to address the issue when it comes up infuture.
How the health promotion campaign supports the health promotion strategies
The role of the health campaign is to provide an avenue for teenagers to share sexually related issues on a platform that involves only their peers. This allows them to share informationwithout fear of victimization thus allowing the practitioners to intervene by providing sexual guidance to them (Benner, et al., 2010). By bringing the teenagers together, they arefree to share the issues that affect them without fearing. This is because they understand the issues relate to their peers rather than the rest of the people. According to research, peer education works well since it allows people of the same age to interact as they share the issues that affect them. Since they fall within the same cohort, then the sexual reproduction issues that affect them are similar. This improves information awareness thus creating a more informed society.
Health promotion strategies seek to empower populations with information that they can use to change their behaviors and attitudes to improve their health. Healthy eating and lifestyles affect the entire population and shape the way people respond to managing issues that relate to them. The UK is characterized by a population that suffers from the healthy eating and lifestyle disorders that cost the economy a lot of resources in addressing the challenges associated with the problem. These people are constrained by social determinants of health which shape the way they access healthy eating and lifestyle patterns. Income shapes the way people access opportunities in the society and use it to meet their needs. Therefore, understanding the nature of the population and the social determinants that shape the health issue is important in improving the health of the population. All health issues that affect the population are influenced by social determinants of health which shape the way people respond to health issues that affect them. Therefore, when planning health promotion campaigns, these characteristics need to be analyzed to understand how they affect the population. This improves the responsiveness of the target population and the ability of the population to respond to health initiatives being put in place.
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