It observes ways in which communities, groups, and organisations, the forms of social structure, and other various social interactions and their effects on actions, attitudes, and opportunities. Basically, sociologists, along with many health professionals, maintain that illness and health are culturally and socially defined and they believe that human beings make choices which affect their health and well-being(Perry 2011) .
The gap presently between the poor and the rich, or rather the relations between factors such as health and social class have been of sociological importance since Marx’s work on capitalism. People belonging to higher social classes tend to enjoy better life chances, are more healthy and live relatively longer than those lower down the social scale. In other words, the better off people are more inclined to eating well and healthily. In the Third World and most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, vaccination programs are normally less effective than they should be because people have less food to eat and the diet is usually not balanced. Feeding well is the best way of preventing diseases (Timmermans & Haas 2008).
Early in the nineteenth century, a huge number of deaths were a result of what people called ‘the disease of poverty’ because most of those who perished were poor and suffered from malnutrition. In the twentieth century, however, “the diseases of poverty” have been replaced by what is now known as the diseases of affluence, where people eat too much of the wrong things. Eating foods that are high in cholesterol, smoking and drinking too much are just a number of causes of these lifestyle diseases.
Lifestyle choices for instance exercise and diet are considered key factors in whether a person is ill or healthy. The modern industrialised societies’ problems are not caused by too little food, but too much harmful or unhealthy food resulting to illnesses such as diabetes, stomach