Defining public health
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Defining public health book
The difference between the images we presented in the previous chapter and the formal definitions of public health, to which we now turn, further exposes the complexity of our task of trying to pin down what is meant by public health. We can look at health in terms of the simple origin of words and dictionary definitions. Here we find that the word ‘health’ is of Germanic origin, related to ‘whole’; the simplest dictionary definition indicates that it means being free from illness or injury. English also used words like ‘sanitary’, from Latin, or ‘hygiene’, from Greek, which have a strong contemporary resonance in other European languages.