Social Cognitive Theory shifts the field of health from a disease model to a health model that focuses on disease prevention and health promotion. There are two major ways in which people's belief in their efficacy affects their health. At the more basic level, such beliefs act on biological systems that mediate health and illness. The quality of health is heavily influenced by lifestyle habits. The second mode of health promotion centers on adoption of healthful habits through development of self-regulatory skills. By exercising control over several health habits, people can live longer and healthier, and slow the process of aging. The quality of health of a nation is a social matter, not just a personal one. It requires changing the practices of social systems that impair health rather than just changing the habits of individuals.

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