• Approaching the problem of defining 'health' and 'disease' from the perspectives of evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (2001-09)
      Concepts of 'health' and 'disease' are of fundamental importance to ethical considerations regarding medical provision. Yet the terms have no clearly agreed definitions. In fact, the difficulty of defining health has led to most attention being given to defining disease instead. Here, two schools of thought have arisen: the 'naturalist' which argues that disease is an objective entity in itself and the 'normativist' which gives emphasis to the subjective nature of disease experience differing between cultures and through history. Respectively, these two schools characterize quantitative (or functional) and qualitative (or evaluative) views of disease. Although both schools offer important insights, they are essentially at odds. This poster outlines an approach that seeks to find a basis for a meeting (if not a unification) of these schools by adopting ideas and approaches from evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine. From the perspective of reproductive fitness, the question of whether health and disease can be said to exist as biological entities is addressed and the idea that all that matters is reproductivity is considered. It is suggested that attitudes regarding certain biological entities, such as physical or physiological states, serve adaptive functions. The suggestion is then made that, although open to social and cultural influence, attitudes towards and qualitative definitions of health and disease also have biological bases. Thus, it may be argued that evaluative definitions of disease have functional (evolutionary) bases, thereby linking the naturalist and normativist schools of thought. Important in this linkage, however, is acceptance of ideas from evolutionary psychology. The only discipline that currently unites the study of health and disease with that of evolutionary biology (including evolutionary psychology) is Darwinian medicine. It is within this discipline that new theoretical and evidence-based understanding of 'health' and 'disease' is likely to prove fruitful – in particular, in giving 'health' appropriately weighted attention.
    • Even better by disease

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (1997-04-30)
    • On 'Kantian Experimentation' in the health sciences

      Lewis, Stephen J. (2002-05)
      This presentation dicusses various approaches to the definition of health and disease.
    • Physical education and health promotion: A qualitative study of teachers' perceptions

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda (Emerald, 2002-06-01)
      This article discusses the extent to which health promotion is central to physical education (PE) teachers' philosophies and practices. 35 PE teachers in secondary schools in north-west England were interviewed.
    • The place of sport and physical activity in young people's lives and its implications for health: Some sociological comments

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; University of Chester (Routledge, 2005-06)
      This exploratory paper seeks, first, to offer some critical sociological comments on the common-sense, or rather ideological, claims surrounding two supposedly emerging 'crises': namely, the alleged poor health and declining sport and physical activity participation levels of young people. In this regard, it is suggested that while young people are, in fact, doing more sport and physical activity than at any other time in the past, this process has, and continues to, co-occur with other prominent social processes (e.g., rising levels of overweight, obesity and sedentariness). Second, the paper begins to make sense of this seemingly 'irreconcilable paradox' by arguing for the need to make use of a sociological perspective that views the complexity of young people's lives 'in the round' and by locating them within the particular social interdependencies or relationships in which they are inescapably involved.
    • Questioning the role of Darwinian medicine

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (2001-09)
      Darwinian medicine as a distinct scientific discipline can be traced to George Williams' and Randolph Nesse's paper 'The Dawn of Darwinian Medicine' (Q Rev. Biol. 66: 1-22, 1991). Ten years on, at what is still the dawn of a new millennium, it is timely to review the current state of Darwinian medicine and to assess some of its still latent potentialities. Nesse remains the main protagonist of a Darwinian approach to medicine. Important work by others has appeared but his and Williams' 'Evolution and Healing' (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1995)†, although written for the popular press, remains the primary text of the whole discipline. Distinct lines of academic interest and inquiry are, however, emerging within Darwinian medicine and it has found inclusion in a number of undergraduate curricula. Sufficient interest exists to suggest that it will survive as a discipline. But as a discipline, Darwinian medicine needs more than a single protagonist – it needs serious critical attention. It is important, therefore, to ask in what form the discipline is to persist and into what new areas it might go. Fundamental to such questions is the relationship between Darwinian medicine (as a scientific discipline) and Western clinical medicine (as a profession). It is suggested that, rather than try to gain direct acceptance by the medical profession, Darwinian medicine might seek to establish itself more firmly within the academic disciplines of evolutionary and human biology. It is suggested that it give special attention to identifying and making its own distinctive voice heard as a biological science of health and disease distinct from medicine – a voice that clinical medicine, drawing as ever from allied sciences, cannot then afford to ignore. To this end, the question of what might be the “zeroth law” of Darwinian medicine is posited.
    • Solving the conundrum of health and disease

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (1997)
    • Sport, health and public policy

      Waddington, Ivan; University College Chester (Elsevier, 2004-11-05)
      This book chapter examines how governments link sport and good health and complexities involved in the relationship between sport, health, and public policy. There are case studies from Britain and the USA.
    • Sports participation and the 'obesity/health crisis': Reflections on the case of young people in England

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; Roberts, Ken; University College Chester ; University College Chester ; University of Liverpool (SAGE, 2004-12-01)
      There has been growing concern in recent years about the emergence of a supposed 'health crisis' - in the form of an 'obesity epidemic' - among young people, one of the maincauses of which, it is assumed, is their declining levels of involvement in sport and physical activity. This brief paper offers some critical comments on the taken-for-granted relationship between these two emergent 'crises' and argues that, in contrast to popular opinion, young people are, in fact, doing more sport and physical activity than at any other time in the past, but that this process has co-occurred, and continues to co-occur, with increasing levels of obesity and overweight. In order to begin to adequately explain these co-occurring processes, it is argued that we need to examine young people's lives in their total context, while noting, in particular, the continuing significance of broader social processes and the networks of relationships in which they are involved.
    • Understanding physical education

      Green, Ken; University of Chester (SAGE, 2008-01-24)
      This book discusses the nature and purpose of physical education; extra-curriculr physical education; and gender, social class, health, youth, ethnicity, disability in relation to physical education.