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Health Promotion Glossary

The World Health Organization’s Health Promotion Glossary was first published in 1986 (Nutbeam, 1986). Its purpose was to facilitate communication between United Nations and other agencies and the growing numbers of practitioners and organizations working in the field of health promotion. The Glossary contained 69 definitions of core concepts and principles in health promotion and terms that are widely used in the field. The demand for a glossary of this type was shown by its publication in seven languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Italian and German.

The WHO Health Promotion Glossary was written to facilitate understanding, communication and cooperation among those engaged in health promotion at the local, regional, national and global levels. Two editions of the Glossary have been released, the first in 1986 and the second in 1998.

Continued revision of the document is necessary to promote consensus regarding meanings and to take account of developments in thinking and practice. In the following update, published in Health Promotion International, 10 new terms are presented. Criteria for the inclusion of terms in the Glossary are that they differentiate health promotion from other health concepts, or have a specific application or meaning when used in relation to health promotion.

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