Functions Performed by the Family

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Examine the reasons for, and the consequences of, the fall in the death rate since 1900 (24 marks) In the UK, the overall number of deaths has stayed fairly stable since 1900. However there has been some fluctuations, for example the number of deaths increased during the world wars. However, ignoring the two major increases, the death rate has fallen since 1900. Firstly, according to Thomas Mckeown (1972), improved nutrition is a main reason for the fall in the death rate. He argues that better nutrition increases resistance to infection and increases the survival chances of those who did get infected. However this has been challenged as females usually have a lower intake of food compared to men, and yet they live longer than men. The second reason for the decrease in the death rate is the healthcare the country now has improved massively. In 1900, many people would die due to illnesses that we wouldn’t see as a problem anymore such as the flu. There weren’t antibiotics and other ways to help cure these illnesses, and the ways they did have weren’t effective enough to stop people dying. In addition there are massive heath care services available today which weren’t available in 1900 to help ill or diseased people such as the National Health Service (NHS). Another reason is that the standard of living in 1900 may have had an impact on the death rate. Many people had large families to provide for and they usually lived in small houses that may not be fit for the amount of people living in them. Today, the family size has decreased and this has stopped the deaths in the family as illnesses and diseases aren’t transmitted to one another quickly as they live together in a more fit environment. Also people had lower incomes in 1900 so they didn’t have enough money to spend on food or a healthy place to live or overall just didn’t have enough to provide for a
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