Improving Your Health
Health promotion is the process of enabling people to improve their health, by increasing their control over their health and the determinants of good health. It's essentially the effort to prevent disease and injury from occurring in the first place, as opposed to traditional health services, which treat disease and injury once it has occurred.
Unlike the traditional clinical care provided by health services, health promotion focuses on populations (or communities), as opposed to individuals. Often, health promotion requires the health system to work with non-health sectors, such as schools, child care, workplaces, local government, as they have a powerful influence over health.
In NSW, the State Plan articulates some of the key priorities for health promotion, including improved health through reduced obesity and smoking. The following targets have been set for these priorities:
- Continue to reduce smoking rates by 1% per annum to 2010, then by 0.5% per annum to 2016.
- Stop the growth in childhood obesity by holding childhood obesity at the 2004 level of 25% by 2010. Then reduce levels to 22% by 2016.
Further, health promotion priorities are also described in the State Health Plan.
At the Ministry of Health, the Centre for Population Health within the Population Health Division, leads the health promotion activities to address smoking, overweight and obesity, and falls prevention in the elderly.