What are the main factors contributing to low healthy life expectancy in the developed world? Investigate possible solutions to these problems. Low healthy life expectancy is the imprecise number of years an individual or group of persons in a country is expected to live, staying healthy and free from disabilities. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines healthy life expectancy as the “average number of years that a person is expected to live in full health, subtracting full health due to diseases and injury”.Low healthy life expectancy in the developed world is caused by several factors such as, life styles, climate, diet and the environment. These are problems because they reduce healthy life expectancy, and to solve this problem, government should increase the awareness of people and also provide proper health care and facilities. An individual could be aware of their life expectancy but this awareness does not state how much of their life they would enjoy in good health, free from disabilities (Kaplan, 2010).Low healthy life expectancy is a key problem in the developed world today, the factors, problems and solutions will be analysed in this essay.
Moving now to the factors affecting low healthy life expectancy, the first major factor is life styles. World Health Organisation in Beattie et al (n. d.
) defines life style as the patterns of behavioural choices made from the alternatives that are available to people according to their socio-economic circumstances and to the ease with which they are able to make a choice over another. Life styles are the ways individuals or group of persons in a country choose to adopt as a blueprint of life.Firstly, Individuals of different countries have different attitude towards smoking.
For example smoking is acknowledged as the greatest contributor to disparities in health and transience in the United Kingdom. Crang and Shelton (2007). Smoking damages the lungs and makes breathing difficult which might result to asthma. To quote from William (1986) “wives who did not smoke but who lived with heavy smokers were found to be three times more likely to die of lung cancer than wives of men who smoked”. Smoking does not have effect only on the person smoking but on the society at large.Furthermore, people perception towards health has caused a main impasse. Most individuals and countries are ostensibly careless about their health.
In the developed world today, it is said that health is about physical appearance. Kaplan (2010) states that “an individual’s health links to a person’s well being and poor health turns it negative”. When a person is not concerned about his or her health, it leads to low healthy life expectancy and carrying out activities becomes very difficult. A possible solution to these problems is to raise the awareness of the government.The government should make a way for people to have regular check-up, keeping them aware of their health status. In addition the government should formulate bye-laws restricting smoking in public places. Secondly, another factor contributing to low healthy life expectancy is the climate of a country. Vardavas and Taylor (2007) define climate as “the mean of state of the atmosphere, averaged over several years and all season with particular emphasis on those that affect the temperature of the earth surface in both logical and global mean sense”.
In most developed countries, climate has always been a major concern.The effect of climate could have a positive or a negative effect on an individual. Climate varies among developed countries. Cold climate results to frost bites, influenza, pneumonia, this period is known as the winter season. These are the drawbacks of climate on human health reducing healthy life expectancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “there is growing evidence that changes in the global climate will have profound effects on the health and well being of citizens in countries through the world”. Developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada are known to have cold climates.
This weather condition exposes them to cardiovascular diseases like asthma and pneumonia. Constant exposure to this weather reduces healthy life expectancy. Costello et al (2009) recommends that policies must be adopted to reduce the amount of carbon emission in the environment and to increase carbon bio sequestration, and thereby slowing down global warming and eventually stabilizing temperatures. The awareness, scientific and technology in developing countries should be strengthened for a successful growth in the healthy life expectancy. Another point worth noting is the dietary habit of individuals in the developed world.
People have a propensity to consume food which does not contain all the necessary food nutrients in the right proportion. Examples of these foods are French pies, cakes, and juices which are generally called fast food. Taking in a well balanced diet that contains all the necessary requirements decreases the chances of sustaining severe diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, bone fracture and obesity. Kaplan (2010) tells us that “three regular meals a day with the right proportion of nutrient is better than one big meal eaten late in the day”.
To solve the problem of poor diet, seminars should be held in schools, churches and TV programmes on diet. Paul R, (2009), suggests that “establishing nutritional programs in school and workplace will definitely enhance the eating habits of the people”. According to Timothy et al (n. d. ) the centre for science has formulated a four food plan containing all the required food nutrients with a major premise that one can eat any food desired, but those high in saturated fat, salt and sugar should be eaten in moderation and not daily.In conclusion, it has been logically viewed that poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, and poor attitude to medication negatively affects healthy life expectancy in a developed nation. However, these problems can be tackled by the government and the individual. In addition for the nation to make a remarkable progress, one must have the desire and willingness to make sacrifices, because without Commitment, one might not succeed, Timothy et al (n.
d. ). Furthermore, the recent strategies used by the government and health conscious of the populace have proved that there is the prospect of an increment in healthy life expectancy in future.References Beattie, A. , Gott, M. , Jones, L.
, and Sid ell, M (n. d. ). Health and Wellbeing: a reader. London: The Macmillan Press LTD. Costello, A. , Abbas, M. , Allen, A.
, and Ball, S (2009). The lancet and University College. London Institute for Global Health Commission. Managing the health effects of climate change. p. 20 Retrieved 30/11/2010 from http://www.
ucl. ac. uk/global-health/ucl-lancet-climate-change. pdf Crang, R and Shelton, N (2007). A survey carried on behalf of the NHS information centre.
Healthy lifestyles, knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. England: National centre for social research.Kaplan International Colleges (2010). Skills for Study 1: Health Expectancy Nottingham, UK: KIC. pp. 176 – 181. Kaplan International Colleges (2010). Skills for Study 1: Health Expectancy.
[podcast][mp3]. Nottingham, UK: KIC. pp. Paul, R and Thomas (1991). Improving America’s diet and health.
Washington, D,C1991: National Academic Press. Timothy, J, Bradley, R, and Wayne, D. (n. d. ).
The healthy life style. William, U, C (1986). Humanities, Social sciences and Law: Banishing tobacco.
(Electronic version) pp. 56-64 World Health Organisation (n. d. ). Retrieved 28/11/2010 from http:www. who.