An Individual’S Health Is Dependent Not Only On The Behavioral

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An individual’s health is dependent not only on the behavioral choices they make, but also on influences from the social and political environments in which they live. The socio-ecological model of health identifies some of the immediate and distal factors that interact to influence the health of individuals. Personal factors include diet and physical activity, whereas culture and international trade are distal factors, which individuals often have little control over.14 The main personal risk factors that led to the large prevalence of CVD within the Finnish population prior to the implementation of health interventions were smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.15 It is important to note, however, that while the Finnish…show more content…
Mean blood pressure and mean serum cholesterol data was collected in 1972 in a cross-sectional study involving individuals between the ages of 25 and 64.15 Participants were required to complete a questionnaire and undergo a health examination. In 1972, the mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) was 148.6 mmHg for males and 152.6 mmHg for women. Mean diastolic blood pressure (DBP) values of sampled individuals were 92.0 mmHg, and 92.4 mmHg for men and women, respectively. By current standards, the mean blood pressure of the Finnish population falls into the category of Stage 1 hypertension.17 Mean serum cholesterol levels were also above a healthy level, at 6.92 mmol/L for men and 6.82 mmol/L.15 Unhealthy diets account for both the high prevalence of high blood pressure and high cholesterol within the Finnish population. Although diet can be seen as a personal choice, Finnish dietary choices were largely a result of cultural norms established due to the agriculturally-dependent economy of the country. Finland, at the time, was a major dairy producing country.18 Government subsidies boosted production of milk and butter making dairy products easily accessible for most Finnish households. Typical eating patterns of the Finnish population regarded dairy products as the foundation of a healthy diet despite the high concentration of saturated fats and cholesterol found in these foods. One study, The North Karelia Project, revealed that saturated fat
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