In our increasingly health conscious times, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. People should be aware that the term “obese” does not always mean dangerous. Being overweight does not necessarily lead to death. Being overweight does, however, increase the risk of many types of cancers. Therefore, an individual should strive to find a healthy balance between food intake and physical activity.
The definition “good health,” according to the World Health Organization,is “a state of full physical, mental and emotional well being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity”. Various definitions have been applied to this concept over the years. In the United States in particular, good health is viewed to involve an optimum weight for height, physical fitness, and a low incidence of chronic diseases, such as cancer. Good health is not synonymous with disease free, though. In some cases, good health can be maintained by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a regular exercise program, consuming a balanced diet, and watching one’s weight.
The goal of a good healthful diet is to ensure that the body gets all the nutrients it needs, but also to avoid fat or fatty foods and cholesterol from the diet. Fatty foods are commonly found in sodas, fried foods, chips, candy bars, and other foods that contain saturated or trans fats. Cholesterol is a substance that can form plaque in arteries and cause clogging, which in turn can cause various heart diseases. A low intake of fat and cholesterol is considered to be good health.
The second definition of “good health” is the ability to physically move around. Being immobile in an urbanized or rural setting is often not a part of a person’s daily life. However, a good physical environment can be created within a home through creating good social networks and participating in physical fitness activities such as hiking, walking, bicycling, or skating. A person’s mobility can also be affected by their sleep schedule. Sleeplessness can reduce a persons physical energy and cause them to become tired, weak, and vulnerable to developing physical diseases.
The third definition of “good health” is one influenced by public health. Public health is the concern and focus on the overall well being of a community, society, and individuals through research, monitoring, and evaluation. An example of public health is immunization programs and food safety regulation. These efforts help communities maintain a level of physical fitness and maintain a healthy economy through nutrition education and control of unhealthy eating habits.
A summary of the definitions of “good health” provide some of the reasons why it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Illness can have many different affects on an individual. The definition of “good health” can also affect how an individual chooses to lead their life. If a person chooses to live a life that is full of health and happiness, they are more likely to be able to successfully fight off disease, live longer, and enjoy other aspects of their life such as physical fitness.