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IELTS Academic Reading Sample 8 - Changing Our Understanding of Health


Last Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2016 14:05
Written by IELTS Mentor
Hits: 37154

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-27 which are based on Reading Passage
sample 8 below.
Questions 14-18
Reading passage 8 has six paragraphs B-F from the list of headings below Choose the most
suitable headings for paragraphs B-F from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers (i-ix) in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.

NB There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use them all.

List of Headings
i) Ottawa International Conference on Health Promotion
ii) Holistic approach to health
iii) The primary importance of environmental factors
iv) Healthy lifestyles approach to health
v) Changes in concepts of health in Western society
vi) Prevention of diseases and illness
vii) Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion
viii) Definition of health in medical terms
ix) Socio-ecological view of health

14. Paragraph B
15. Paragraph C
16. Paragraph D
17. Paragraph E
18. Paragraph F

Changing Our Understanding of Health

A
The concept of health holds different meanings for different people and groups. These meanings of health have also
changed over time. This change is no more evident than in Western society today, when notions of health and health
promotion are being challenged and expanded in new ways.

B
For much of recent Western history, health has been viewed in the physical sense only. That is, good health has been
connected to the smooth mechanical operation of the body, while ill health has been attributed to a breakdown in this
machine. Health in this sense has been defined as the absence of disease or illness and is seen in medical terms.
According to this view, creating health for people means providing medical care to treat or prevent disease and illness.
During this period, there was an emphasis on providing clean water, improved sanitation and housing.

C
In the late 1940s the World Health Organisation challenged this physically and medically oriented view of health. They
stated that 'health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and is not merely the absence of disease'
(WHO, 1946). Health and the person were seen more holistically (mind/body/spirit) and not just in physical terms.

D
The 1970s was a time of focusing on the prevention of disease and illness by emphasising the importance of the lifestyle
and behaviour of the individual. Specific behaviours which were seen to increase the risk of diseases, such as smoking,
lack of fitness and unhealthy eating habits, were targeted. Creating health meant providing not only medical health care,
but health promotion programs and policies which would help people maintain healthy behaviours and lifestyles. While
this individualistic healthy lifestyle approach to health worked for some (the wealthy members of society), people
experiencing poverty, unemployment, underemployment or little control over the conditions of their daily lives benefited
little from this approach. This was largely because both the healthy lifestyles approach and the medical approach to health
largely ignored the social and environmental conditions affecting the health of people.

E
During 1980s and 1990s there has been a growing swing away from seeing lifestyle risks as the root cause of poor health.
While lifestyle factors still remain important, health is being viewed also in terms of the social, economic and
environmental contexts in which people live. This broad approach to health is called the socio-ecological view of health.
The broad socio-ecological view of health was endorsed at the first International Conference of Health Promotion held in
1986, Ottawa, Canada, where people from 38 countries agreed and declared that:

The fundamental conditions and resources for health are peace, shelter, education, food, a viable income, a stable eco-
system, sustainable resources, social justice and equity. Improvement in health requires a secure foundation in these
basic requirements. (WHO, 1986) .

It is clear from this statement that the creation of health is about much more than encouraging healthy individual
behaviours and lifestyles and providing appropriate medical care. Therefore, the creation of health must include
addressing issues such as poverty, pollution, urbanisation, natural resource depletion, social alienation and poor working
conditions. The social, economic and environmental contexts which contribute to the creation of health do not operate
separately or independently of each other. Rather, they are interacting and interdependent, and it is the complex
interrelationships between them which determine the conditions that promote health. A broad socio-ecological view of
health suggests that the promotion of health must include a strong social, economic and environmental focus.

F
At the Ottawa Conference in 1986, a charter was developed which outlined new directions for health promotion based on
the socio-ecological view of health. This charter, known as the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, remains as the
backbone of health action today. In exploring the scope of health promotion it states that:

Good health is a major resource for social, economic and personal development and an important dimension of quality of
life. Political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, behavioural and biological factors can all favour health or be
harmful to it. (WHO, 1986) .

The Ottawa Charter brings practical meaning and action to this broad notion of health promotion. It presents fundamental
strategies and approaches in achieving health for all. The overall philosophy of health promotion which guides these
fundamental strategies and approaches is one of 'enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health'
(WHO, 1986).

Questions 19-22
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage, answer the following questions
Write your answers in boxes 19-22 on your answer sheet.

19. In which year did the World Health Organization define health in terms of mental, physical and
social well-being?
20. Which members of society benefited most from the healthy lifestyles approach to health?
21. Name the three broad areas which relate to people's health, according to the socio-ecological
view of health.
22. During which decade were lifestyle risks seen as the major contributors to poor health?

Questions 23-27
Do the following statements agree with the information in Reading Passage 8?
In boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet write
YES if the statement agrees with the information.
NO if the statement contradicts the information.
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage.

23 Doctors have been instrumental in improving living standards in Western society.


24 The approach to health during the 1970s included the introduction of health awareness
programs.
25 The socio-ecological view of health recognises that lifestyle habits and the provision of
adequate health care are critical factors governing health.
26 The principles of the Ottawa Charter are considered to be out of date in the 1990s.
27 In recent years a number of additional countries have subscribed to the Ottawa Charter.

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Comments

# Nodir 2018-01-21 04:42 0

14.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Andrea Phillip 2018-01-10 05:21 0

Thanks a lot for the very supportive materials for IELTS Preparation.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Maninder Singh 2017-10-21 02:28 0

Can someone explain me the answer to Q. 25, please?


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# Fco 2018-01-25 18:22 0

I believe this explains it:

E "During the 1980s and 1990s there has been a growing swing away from
seeing lifestyle risks as the root cause of poor health. While lifestyle factors still
remain important, health is being viewed also in terms of the social, economic
and environmental contexts in which people live."
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Currently Out 2017-07-17 02:54 +3

Always thanks for uploading lots of helpful materials. Thanks. They do really help.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Umesh Satashia 2017-06-10 14:17 +1

The answer to the question 17 could also be option 1 but it's not. Why? Please
explain if anyone can.
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# Bimala Bhandari 2017-04-21 11:19 +1

Thanks a lot. It is really nice to practice here. I have not got a good mark - only 8
correct answer, but will try...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Sundas 2016-11-20 11:21 -2

The answer to the question 21 is "social, economic, environmental". If "social,


economical, environmental" is also the correct one please let me know.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Arvind 2016-09-11 20:52 +1


Got all 14 correct!!! This is the first passage where I got all the answers right.
Please let me know the difficulty level of this passage.
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# Vikram 2016-06-12 06:40 0

Wow! I have got 12 out of 14.


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# Francis 2015-11-11 09:44 +5

Wow, I got 10. Though I still think question 22 is '1980s' and '1990s'. This website
is actually helpful.
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# Deby 2016-07-14 06:05 -1

I think the same.


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# Bikash Tiwari 2016-07-01 03:13 0

I am still confused about this answer.


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# Bikash Tiwari 2016-07-01 03:11 +1

I still think the answer to question 22 is 1980 to 1990. During the 1980s and
1990s, there has been a growing swing away from seeing lifestyle risks as the
root cause of poor health.
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# Kris 2016-11-29 20:21 -1

...growing SWING away...


SWING means moving away...
So the sentence reads: During the 1980s and 1990s there has been a
growing swing (moving) away from seeing lifestyle risks as the root cause of
poor health. That means they aren't seeing lifestyle risks as the root cause of
poor health.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Asami 2015-11-10 11:02 +6

24 # The approach to HEALTH during the 1970s included the introduction of health
awareness programs. Can anyone explain why this statement is 'true' instead of
'not given'? Thankfully - Asami.
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# Bess 2016-05-24 05:57 +1

Creating health meant providing not only medical health care but also health
promotion programs and policies which would help people maintain a healthy
behaviour and lifestyle.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Feri 2016-05-12 18:53 +1

I think there's a key word "prevention" which has the same concept of
"awareness".
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# Elijah 2015-10-23 12:35 +4

On paragraph F, second sentence, it states that the "Ottawa Charter remains as


the backbone of health action today", meaning from 1986 until the present time
(2015). In which case it is opposite, or contradictory, of the statement in item 26,
saying that it is out of date in the 1990s because it is still relevant until today
(2015). At least that's why I think the answer is 'NO' instead of 'NG'.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Marta 2016-05-12 17:35 0

The answer to question 26 is 'NO'. NOT GIVEN is the answer to the question 27.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Elijah 2015-10-23 12:22 -2

I am wondering why the answer to the question number 22 is (1970s) when the
instructions clearly state that you should only write WORDS, not NUMBERS. Am I
the only one who answered in word form in this question?
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# Bella 2015-10-13 14:26 0

Shouldn't 26 be 'NG'? Because it didn't say anything related to Ottawa's principles?


And it is being out of date?
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# Linh 2015-11-11 15:37 +4

You can see at paragraph 'F' - "...remains as the backbone of health action
today..." -> So it means it hasn't been out of date!
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# Aakash Vaghela 2015-08-22 16:05 0

Wow! I got 11. Thank you, sir, for this. It is a great website.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Fineel 2015-06-23 15:48 +2

This is really a great help for the IELTS candidates. Thumbs up for the best IELTS
website. Thank you very much for this post. I like this site very much.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

# Ems 2015-06-16 05:54 0


I am doubtful about the answer number 16. It should be 'iv'. Please, somebody,
explain it.
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# Marta 2016-05-12 17:33 +1

Do you mean that it should be 'vi'? It's 'iv' because it's talking concretely about
the healthy lifestyle's approach. On the contrary, 'vi' is about prevention in
general but, you know, it's too general. Indeed, the whole text is about
prevention of illness and disease.
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# Kim 2014-12-01 19:52 +4

The answer to the question 22 is "1990s and 1990s", isn't it?


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# Prince Isaac 2015-02-12 11:50 +6

During the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a growing "SWING AWAY" from
seeing lifestyle risks as the root cause of poor health... So it must be 1970 or
else question was wrong.. ( decade = ?? ) :/
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# Bella 2015-10-13 14:37 0

What does 'swing away' mean?


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# Feri 2016-05-12 18:57 0

In my opinion, the meaning could be "move away from the bad lifestyle in
the 1970s" and some bad lifestyle in 1970 are "Specific behaviours which
were seen to increase the risk of diseases, such as smoking, lack of fitness
and unhealthy eating habits".
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# Marta 2016-05-12 17:30 +2

It's a change. In that context, it means that they don't think anymore that
lifestyle is the root cause of poor health.
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# Mikki 2014-05-05 07:40 +5

This is really a great help for the IELTS candidates. Thumbs up for the best IELTS
website. This online preparation material would definitely help many students like
me.
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