Throughout history public health effort has been directed to the control of transmissible diseases, reduction of environmental hazards, and provision of safe drinking water. The Greeks believed that ill health developed from an imbalance between man and his environment, not unlike contemporary public health theories of multifactorial disease causations, in which environment plays a prominent role (pg 5). In the middle ages (AD 500-1500), epidemics of infectious disease spurred collective activities by communities to promote the public’s health, presaging the later formation of boards of health and public health departments In the 1800s. Medieval cities were run by councils who supervised disease prevention, sanitation, and protection of community health.
The first public health revolution was the struggle against infectious disease in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which involved sanitation and immunization. The second revolution was spurred by the prevalence of chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer. In 1979 Healthy People marked a turning point in the approach and strategy for public health in the US. Americans adopted simple measures to enhance health including: Eliminating cigarette smoking, reduction of alcohol misuse, moderate dietary changes to reduce the intake of excess calories, fat, salt, and sugar. Other ways to enhance health include moderate exercise, periodic screenings such as high blood pressure and certain cancers.
Healthy people recognized that in the past, individuals did not have complete control or responsibility over their health status in part because of socioeconomic and environmental determinants (pg 29). The differences between historical and contemporary health promotion is that they were both based from different time periods, where back then there preventions were based off the knowledge they had. In the present times we have gained and learned so much more especially from our history, that we now have better advanced ways to promote health with preventative measures learned and understood through findings and experience. The differences developed in order to continue with the promotion of health in a better advanced way, which will better the future for generations to come.
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