A growing number of studies and reports from various organisations and contexts examine the links between health and various factors, such as lifestyles, environments, health care organisations, and health policy. One specific health policy that has been implemented in many countries in recent years is the sugar tax. Increased concerns about obesity, particularly among youth, prompted the introduction of beverage levies. With mounting proof of their link to obesity, sugar-sweetened beverages have become a target of anti-obesity campaigns. The Lalonde study from Canada in 1974, the Alameda County Study from California, and the World Health Organization’s World Health Reports, which focus on global health issues such as access to health care and improving public health outcomes, particularly in developing nations.
The Lalonde study in Canada coined the term “health field” to distinguish it from medical treatment. Three interrelated fields were highlighted as significant determinants of an individual’s health in the report. These are they:
Lifestyle: the collection of personal choices (over which an individual has power) that can be considered to contribute to or cause illness or death;
Environmental: all aspects of health that are outside of the human body over which the individual has little or no control;
Biomedical refers to all aspects of physical and mental health that develop within the human body as a result of genetic makeup.
The preservation and development of health is accomplished through various combinations of physical, mental, and social well-being, referred to as the “health triangle.”