What are Public Health and Why Is it Important?

Health, as defined by 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 health throughout the years. However, in the most comprehensive sense, health is the absence of suffering with respect to health, the ability to participate in society, and the capacity to adapt to the challenges of modern life. In this sense, what we mean by health is not just being able to overcome common diseases but also disabilities, such as learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, mental health conditions, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and any other bodily limitations.


People need to know that being healthy involves more than just eating the right kind of food and exercising. It involves making healthy choices and taking the right amount of physical activity. It is important to maintain a healthy weight and work on keeping the body strong, including through the control of diet and nutrition. Other factors such as sleep, stress, and alcohol consumption can affect one’s physical and emotional well being and should be controlled to achieve the desired level of fitness and wellness.

The promotion of healthy lifestyle means getting rid of all the causes of premature death. Some of these causes are excess fat, smoking, excess alcohol intake, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and poor nutritional habits, to name a few. This, of course, does not mean that people should not live a healthy and active life. It simply means that everybody needs to be more physically active and eat the right kind of foods. To do so, they would have to know how to identify and deal with the different health conditions that they may come across. For this, they should know about and be familiar with the basic terms, definitions, and treatments for such conditions as diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, and so on.