- Dr Frantz Pierre-Louis & Lloyd Pierre-Louis
Politics and Health
Health or rather, being healthy, is basically a state the body reaches which enables it to function properly, optimally, in the best way possible on a physical and mental point of view. Politics, in a certain way, is the system put in place in ancient and modern societies to ensure a ‘’healthy’’ harmony between individuals, groups, communities which constitute this society. Therefore, a rather interesting question to look at closely loom as follows: how could politics influence health?
To be healthy, one needs to make the right choices when it comes to eating properly, to
exercise regularly, to sleep decently on a constant basis, etc. To make the right choices, one needs not only to have access to this knowledge (through information, education, awareness), but the freedom, means and autonomy to take action towards what he/she individually perceives to be the best solution for him/her(self) to achieve a healthy life with regards to nutrition, for instance.
However, it does not equate to this simple, obvious and logic rationale when it comes to the concept of ‘’healthy’’ choice for that matter. Politics has that odd thing to put in place policies, laws, rules, regulations which supposedly target the greater good of the whole, but instead cause the worst for the one, sometimes even depriving the one of his ‘’ideal’’ choice, which by the way would not affect the targeted greater good that is sought for the sake of political decisions.
As a matter of fact, production and selling of high-sugar, high-salted and high-fat food products are a result (or lack thereof) of regulations or policies. They allow mass-production of cheap food to alleviate hunger from poor individuals, among other, but excessive sugar, salt and fat are not healthy, since they are scientifically linked to cardiovascular diseases, among others. Therefore, politics might be healthy for the management, organization of society, but is it really a vector of health for the individual itself living in this society?