Ernesto Moralez’s Insightful Approach: Unveiling Hidden Determinants of Chronic Diseases

December 20, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

In the context of our modern societies, chronic ailments such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, have become some of the most challenging enemies in our growing world of death. Unlike tuberculosis and pneumonia, which are infectious diseases, chronic illnesses do not transfer from one person to the other through contact. As a result, they require a critical rethinking of the healthcare approaches so that healthcare providers and public health officials can cope with the problems posed by such long-term chronic conditions. These recalibrations have spurred a heightened focus on precautions, adjustments in diets, physical exercises, and the use of pharmacological interventions. As common as these approaches are, they usually fail to capture the intricate influences shaping the chronic disease landscape. This article aims to explore the hidden determinants of these diseases and proposes new solutions for their betterment.

The 20th century introduced a revolutionary change where chronic diseases overrode infectious diseases in terms of being the leading causes of death in the domain of public health. Nowadays, heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory illness have taken the limelight. Divergent from infectious ailments, which may be transmitted through interpersonal contact, chronic ailments have complicated and multifaceted causes.

Almost 60% of global mortality has been caused by chronic diseases, which has realigned the foundational principles for public health and medical care. Such a paradigm shift has resulted in the proactive promotion of healthier dietary choices, advocacy for more physical activity, and pharmaceutical remedies for combating chronic conditions effectively. While those strategies have resulted in positive changes in the overall improvement of health, the hidden factors that influence chronic diseases mostly pass unnoticed.

Ernesto Moralez is a major figure and scholar in the area of public health education with insights into chronic diseases. Moralez underscores a deeper concern for addressing systemic factors that go beyond merely promoting personal responsibility in adopting healthier lifestyles. His approach recommends the implementation of zoning policies that restrict the sale of tobacco and vaping supplies, recognizing the critical imperative to reduce access to such products and tobacco and vaping advertisements targeting youths. The challenge thus consists of limiting unhealthy choices in the interest of long-term health.

Ernesto Moralez states that although the promotion of abstinence regarding tobacco products might still be relevant, the healthy lifestyle approach subjects people to unfair moral pressure. Rich areas have sparse numbers of liquor and tobacco stores while socioeconomically deprived regions sustain a larger concentration of liquor and tobacco stores. The concentration of these stores significantly gives the impression that chronic diseases seem contagious. So the restriction of unhealthy options becomes necessary for better health in the long run.

Additionally, Moralez noticed the need to include sources of chronic diseases that cause clustering of diseases in a manner similar to infectious diseases. County maps showing cases of diabetes depict clusters in poor neighborhoods showing low access to medical services, high rates of unemployment, and low-quality neighborhood conditions.

Those eager to engage with the public health approach that Ernesto Moralez is advocating can learn more through his public health curriculum as well as in the upcoming edition of the standard textbook for introductory public health, Introduction to Public Health, which he co-authored.

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