Personal Health Behaviors And Religious Prohibition Of Alcohol

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1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background Personal health behaviours are activities that heighten risk of disease or promote the maintenance of health. They consist of two broad classes of behaviour: 1) Health risk behaviours, or activities carried out with a frequency or intensity that increases risk of disease or injury; these include cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, certain sexual behaviours and drink-driving. 2) Positive health behaviours, or activities that may help prevent disease and injury, detect disease and disability at an early stage, or enhance health; regular physical activity, avoidance of fat in the diet, eating fruit and fibre, and breast and testicle self-examination, all fall into this category. (1) Personal health behaviours are thought to play a key role in determining the prevalence of diseases of major socio-economic impact throughout the world, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers and accidents. (2) Personal health behaviours are determined by a wide variety of factors, including socio-cultural influences (e.g. dietary traditions and religious prohibition of alcohol), legislation (e.g. laws restricting the purchase of tobacco and the use of seat-belts), macroeconomics (e.g. disposable income and taxation on cigarettes), health care provision (e.g. occupational health checks and free dental care), systems of provision of goods and services (e.g. availability of sporting facilities and low fat foods), and socio-demographic factors (age,
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