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  • Writer's pictureMichael McEntee

What is health?

The word health is used in so many different ways today but what actually is it and how do we achieve health if indeed that’s what we are aiming for. Is it slimness, is it how far you can run, is it how many hours you can function for and does it vary with all of us?

The dictionary definition of health is: the condition of the body and the degree to which it is free from illness, or the state of being well (taken from the online Cambridge Dictionary).

Many people feel they are free from illness and it is hard to argue with them as they may well appear healthy and participate fully in the activities they have become used to doing on a day to day basis. However, what if you asked a model to play a game of squash? Would she be able to play the game for more than 10 minutes and if she can’t, does that make her unhealthy? I am sure she looks slim and fits ‘societal healthy’.

One of the key indicators of health today, is that you are slim. As obesity rises, more and more importance is being put on the waist line measurements. I am not saying they are not of use and have some relevance but are they everything and are these measurements causing us to make bad decisions on how to become healthy?

If your waist line is bigger than the ‘norm’, a fast way to lose the inches is to eat low fat or low sugar foods. But do these foods really put life and therefore health into your body? Our bodies make 3millon cells a second. Would you feed a new born or small infant low fat/low sugar food, or would you choose foods packed with nutrition to nourish the body? As adults we somehow think we are different but just like children we are growing everyday and as such need to put the right ingredients in to grow. Eating nutritious food 80% of the time may be one of the ways to improve health. Although we cannot see inside we need to know our cells are forming well and we can control this by what we choose to put in.

What other factors may influence health?

Good sleep and sufficient rest



Good thoughts



As the media and Government continue to lose sight of the true definition of health and instead focus on the waist line, the obesity epidemic can only continue to rise. We need to address the whole person and strive to provide education on each missing aspect, with each individual, if we are to see improvements in health and indeed wellbeing.

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