Top 4 Worldwide Health Problems

When it comes to global health, there are a variety of risk factors that seem to be universal. This wide range of experiences based on similar core issues begs the question: What are the biggest health problems in the world?


From noncommunicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes to viral infections like Ebola virus and measles, the disease remains to be one of the most obvious health problems faced by world populations. Disease can have many causes depending on the population involved, including the following:

  • Unclean Water – Lack of access to clean water poses a sanitation risk.
  • Behavioral Habits – Tobacco and alcohol use as well as highly risky behaviors such as drug use or promiscuity are habits that increase the risk of disease.
  • Overcrowded Populations – In highly dense populations, viral infection can spread like wildfire.


Lack of proper nourishment can be a major factor in the health of individuals as well as entire communities. Whether food is not available due to war or famine, or educational infrastructure about nutrition isn’t in place, malnourishment affects a wide range of diverse populations worldwide. Obesity in first-world countries remains to be a link to many otherwise preventable noncommunicable diseases and other life factors that diminish the quality of life.


One of the things that poses a major risk to the world population remains to be violence. War and acts of terrorism are threats to the physical and emotional health of all ages. Whether it is domestic violence tearing families and communities apart, or the acts of genocide that are still being purported today in the name of religious fervor or ethnic hatred, violence remains a detriment to all communities and age groups in various ways, forcing many people to leave their homes to seek refuge in other countries.

Environmental Factors

As more research is found regarding the role of environment in overall health, more and more countries have put stringent regulations in place to reduce air and water pollution that pose a major threat. Regardless of what location or biome a community is dependent upon, changes in the environment affect the availability of food and clean water. Whether it is the melting of glaciers that have sustained ecosystems for small communities to thrive or the contamination of precious air and water resources, environmental factors play a large part in overall health outlook on a global scale.

From first-world countries to the developing world, the basic factors affecting the health of the world’s population are the same across the board. Though certainly affecting various nationalities and income levels in different ways, these four factors are the basis for many of the world’s afflictions and are a starting ground for policymakers to address global health.