Ecological Models in Healthy People 2030


It is hard to disagree that there is an extreme necessity to improve people’s well-being and reduce morbidity so that future generations are healthier. The best way to achieve that is to implement health promotion and health education that enhance the quality of individuals’ lives and increase their awareness of the need to care about their health. According to Nutbeam (2019), “equitable access to quality health education and lifelong learning remain the cornerstones of modern health promotion” (p. 705). Overall, the purpose of this paper is to describe the differences between health education and health promotion, explore a community-based health promotion program, namely Healthy People 2030, and determine a health promotion model that could be applied to the selected program.

Health Education and Health Promotion

Health promotion theories develop awareness among the population of the need to reach out to health professionals and include preventive actions aimed at improving health outcomes. Health promotion models help health professionals to regulate these interventions based on the needs of society, adapting to the current challenges and possibilities of modern medicine (Nutbeam, 2019). One of the sets of activities is health education.

It is only one of the components that make up a health promotion program, a source of information from experts for the population. Nurses’ participation in health promotion is often limited to health education (Whitehead, 2018). However, there is a need to broaden the understanding of the term, both among the public and among nurses, to be more active in improving the health of society.

There are several specific differences between these two concepts. Health promotion programs, unlike health education, involve a variety of social, cultural, and political factors (Whitehead, 2018). The program can be supported and implemented at the state level. Moreover, it often considers social factors of behavior, including, for example, respect for the interlocutor. These factors also affect psychological and physical health. Therefore, they are taken into account by the program, in contrast to health education (Whitehead, 2018). The latter is more often presented in lectures, posters, and brochures and is an initiative of local institutions such as schools or hospitals.

Community-Based Health Promotion Program: Healthy People 2030

Healthy People 2030 is a government initiative to build a healthier society for the future. The main goals of Healthy People 2030 are to achieve a healthy, prosperous life and well-being without preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death. The program is aimed at eliminating health inequalities, achieving health equity, and improving health literacy to improve the health and well-being of the entire population (Kleinman, 2017).

Every ten years, the program sets its goals to improve the general background of the health of citizens. Activities include the development of positive dynamics of factors, which for the most part, are generally accepted values ​​in society. These aspects include, for example, social justice, environmental protection, and public safety. One of the central themes of this program is the eradication of structural racism and activities aimed at collective well-being.

Collective health implies a set of tasks that need to be addressed by large groups of the population. These problems developed significantly during the pandemic and required collective action. In addition to the pandemic, other global issues should also be mentioned here, such as climate change or civic engagement. Social factors are essential in this program, as structural racism is a consequence and cause of many other adverse actions, both in the health and other social areas. The solution to these problems lies in an integrated approach that includes engaging multisectoral partnerships (Hasbrouck, 2021). These objectives lead to a common goal aimed at increasing life expectancy in the country.

Ecological Model

In defining the theory or model applied by a health promotion or disease prevention program, it is vital to consider certain factors, such as which population group the program targets or the context of the problem being addressed. For example, an ecological model is distinguished, which implies studying the interaction of people with their physical and sociocultural environment. Healthy People 2030 explores the importance of environmental models in health promotion and disease prevention (“Ecological models,” n.d.). In addition, effectiveness is emphasized by eliminating different levels of influence on health behavior.

These models, including a socio-ecological one, consider a whole hierarchy of factors from intrapersonal to state (Wold & Mittelmark, 2018). The highest level of the hierarchy regulates healthy behavior through federal and local policies and laws.

This regulation forms other institutional factors by encouraging or legitimizing measures aimed at improving the population’s health. The model assesses the factors that ultimately influence the knowledge and beliefs of one person and how interpersonal factors support this knowledge. Thus, the main goal of such a model is to shape a society in which health-promoting behavior is supported and encouraged and in which various social and political determinants are taken into account. In any case, the work of this model depends not only on actions at the state or organizational level but also on each person.

Healthy People 2030 strives to eliminate health inequalities and promotes healthy behaviors that root out the causes of these inequalities. This program is carried out at the state level, so it can be argued that it uses an ecological model. Social determinants regulate the psychological and physical health of the population; therefore, the program tries to determine the causes, assess their impact, and plan the further work of the ecological model.


Many programs at different organizational levels today focus on activities to improve the health of society. Some companies are more highly specialized and directed against a specific disease. While other programs have broad objectives, most programs have one common goal: increasing public health and life expectancy. Health education has proven to be a promising approach in preventing many diseases through the self-control of the population. However, the current development of medicine and the case of a worldwide pandemic have led to the creation and dissemination of increasingly large programs to improve the health of society, using a set of theories and models.


Ecological models. (2018). Rural Health Information Hub. Web.

Hasbrouck, L. (2021). Healthy people 2030: An improved framework. Health Education & Behavior, 48(2), 113-114. Web.

Kleinman, D. V. (2017). Secretary’s advisory committee on national health promotion and disease prevention objectives for 2030. In APHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo. American Public Health Association.

Nutbeam, D. (2019). Health education and health promotion revisited. Health Education Journal, 78(6), 705–709. Web.

Whitehead, D. (2018). Exploring health promotion and health education in nursing. Nursing Standard, 33(8). Web.

Wold, B., & Mittelmark, M. B. (2018). Health-promotion research over three decades: The social-ecological model and challenges in implementation of interventions. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 46(20), 20–26. Web.

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