Achieving optimal health is not the sole responsibility of the individual. Health promotion enables individuals to improve their health and delay disease, disability, and death. Health-promoting activities include healthful eating, adequate physical activity, stress management, not smoking, and adequate sleep. On a societal level, health promotion focuses on achieving equity in health among all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Health disparities can be reduced or eliminated by providing culturally relevant health information, programs, and services; improving access to health care; creating public policy that promotes health; creating healthy environments; and providing other opportunities for making healthy choices.
Delores C. S. James
World Health Organization (1986). Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Available from <http://www.who.int/hpr>