Health logic and health-related behaviours
Author: Ioannou, Soula
Source: Critical Public Health, Volume 15, Number 3, Number 3/September 2005 , pp. 263-273(11)
Abstract:In this paper, the author develops the notion of health logic , which prescribes `judgemental' and `cause–effect' logic to the way that smoking, eating, drinking alcohol and exercise as health-related behaviours are approached within the field of health promotion. The problem, which is raised through the concept of health logic , is concerned with the utilization of health-enhancing or damaging classifications for `everyday' issues (e.g. spending time with peers, eating out) relevant to smoking, eating, drinking alcohol and exercise. While such classifications can be rationalized under the field of health promotion, which aims at the promotion of healthy choices, they can be relatively misguiding. The emphasis on just a binary concept of health promotion conceals the understanding of these behaviours in people's everyday lives. The health logic critique is established first through a discussion of three main health promotion concepts: ` lifestyle ', ` choice ' and ` empowerment '. Second, the health logic is highlighted through the empirical tendency within the field of health promotion that favours separating aspects of the everyday life of individuals into positive and negative influences. This paper suggests a different viewpoint of health-related behaviours by centring on people's everyday lives and avoiding the binary divisions created by the health logic , such as healthy/unhealthy, or the role of an enhancing or obstructing social context. Such a strongly value-laden approach seems unlikely to tell us very much about how people make sense of health-related behaviours within the context of their everyday lives.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2005-09-01