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Health Promotion Role in Reducing Health Insurance Costs


Health promotion is an important part of disease prevention tactics. It includes informing the population of the diseases which can affect them and explaining the ways to avoid them. Health promotion is crucial as it ensures that people understand the risks of their lifestyle and know how to avoid them. The WHO considers promotion an important part of the preventative approach to healthcare, reducing the burden of chronic disease and injury and improving economic efficiency (The WHO, 2012).

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Three levels of health promotion

The three levels of health promotion are primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary level of health promotion focuses on the general promotion of healthier lifestyles and preventing diseases. On this level, the core methods used include information campaigns and interventions. On the secondary level, the focus shifts to early detection of diseases and proper treatment. It means that people should be aware of the early symptoms of the disease, be able to identify them and seek proper medical care. Tertiary level of health promotion applies to patients going through long-term treatment or rehabilitation. It involves properly informing patients of the necessary procedures that lessen the effects of the disease and ensuring they know how their condition affects their lives. This level usually refers to chronic diseases and injuries.

The Practice of Health Promotion

One of the fields in which health promotion has shown positive results is child obesity prevention. On the primary level, one example of effective health promotion is food labelling. According to the WHO, it is an effective health promotion tool, as it helps encourage more healthy diets (The WHO, 2012). The secondary and tertiary level solutions are usually bundled in with the primary level ones. School intervention programs are an example of such complex solutions. They include promoting higher physical activity and healthier food in schools as well as working with parents to ensure they are informed of the risks of childhood obesity. The research published in Cochrane Collaboration shows that interventions are effective in reducing child obesity rates (Waters et al., 2011).

The authors are cautious as the results are not fully conclusive, but the meta-analysis of 37 studies is solid evidence that health promotion is at least somewhat effective. The study recommends focusing on the promotion of physical activity and balanced nutrition by ensuring schools offer plenty of opportunity for exercise and serve healthy food. The importance of parental support is also noted. Another report from Canada indicates a steep decline in a number of obese children in schools participating in the intervention program (Fung et al., 2012). These reports combined clearly indicate that health promotion is a key element of childhood obesity prevention. In these cases all three levels of health promotion are combined in the intervention strategy. Interventions include measures to ensure that obese children are aware of the risks of their condition, as well as informing them about different ways in which the condition can be cured. The three levels of promotion are implemented in a complex ensuring both prevention of obesity in the risk groups and the treatment of children already suffering from it.


The WHO reports indicate that health promotion is an important and economically efficient tool for fighting non-communicable conditions, such as childhood obesity (The WHO, 2012). As research indicates the decreased risk of such diseases is enough to positively impact the healthcare budgets and decrease the insurance costs. The health promotion is a very cost-effective way of saving a lot of people (Milstein, Homer, Briss, Burton, & Pechacek 2011).


Fung, C., Kuhle, S., Lu, C., Purcell, M., Schwartz, M., Storey, K., & Veugelers, P. (2012). From “best practice” to “next practice”: the effectiveness of school-based health promotion in improving healthy eating and physical activity and preventing childhood obesity. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 9(1), 9:27.

Milstein, B., Homer, J., Briss, P., Burton, D., & Pechacek, T. (2011). Why Behavioral And Environmental Interventions Are Needed To Improve Health At Lower Cost. Health Affairs, 30(5), 823-832.

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The WHO. (2012). Population-based Approaches to Childhood Obesity Prevention. Web.

Waters, E., de Silva Sanigorski, A., Hall, B. J., Brown, T, Campbell, K. J., Gao, Y., Armstrong, R., Prosser, L. & Summerbell, C. D. (2011). Interventions for preventing obesity in children (review). Cochrane collaboration 12, 1-212.

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