The Social Determinants of Health
The significance of the health phenomenon in the society cannot be undermined. Notably, positive health plays a crucial role in influencing the success of individuals in a given community.
One of the biggest health concerns in the United States is obesity. The ailment affects a significant number of people, and results in significant impositions upon the affected populations. While obesity may be a culmination of genetic factors, social determinants may also influence the manifestation of the ailment.
The article America’s Growing Food Inequality Problem attributes the prevalence of obesity and other food-related disorders to income inequality. Ferdman argues that financial limitations prevent the poor from accessing and acquiring healthy food. Ideally, American diet has improved in recent years. Most people are likelier to embrace education initiatives that reflect on their eating habits. Nonetheless, such inclinations vary depending on one’s social placement. Thus, people from lower socio-economic segments may be less likely to access the limited opportunities which reflect on eating patterns compared to their wealthy counterparts in the society (Ferdman). Overall, food and dietary patterns are subject to social class distinctions.
A similar sentiment was reflected by Mclay, in the article What I learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping. According to the article, people in the lower social classes are compelled by circumstances to acquire food materials that are dangerous for their health. Notably, healthy food is priced higher than the largely subsidized food materials that can be accessed by the poor and the homeless. Clay suggests that the poor’s eating patterns are inspired by food insecurity, which compels them to acquire bulky food at a minimum cost. Such a decision leads to the acquisition of food that is unhealthy. Primarily, the article contends that obesity and other food-related concerns are constructs of the social disparities. Subtly, Clay calls for the subsidization of healthy food materials to enhance access by individuals in the lower social strata.
Likewise, Shaich argues that the poor and homeless in the society have to battle with the argument on whether to acquire food that would last longer or one which is healthier. To test his theory, the author sought to relive the experiences of the homeless by living on the amount that was allowed to the subject individual through the food stamp program. According to Shaich, one in six people in America have to contend with the social impositions which limit their access to balanced diet. Food insecurity influences the types of decisions people make regarding their eating patterns. Subsequently, the poor will be less likely to settle on the overpriced natural food products in the supermarket shelves. All stakeholders should converge around the efforts that are established to mitigate health disparity as a result of eating patterns. The initiative is critical because it facilitates the remedying of the social factors that are often overlooked in addressing diet discrepancies. Notably, obesity is projected to be more than just a health problem. The phenomenon is also influenced by the various social class limitations which greatly curtails the poor’s ability to acquire food that is healthy.
The video Obesity in America expounds on the prevalence of obesity in America. Principally, the ABC News documentary examines the various arguments that have been instituted to explain the manifestation of the obesity problem. One of the arguments that have been fronted to explain the health challenge alludes to the disconnect between what is availed in the market and what most people have grown to like. The approach that is engaged by sellers in marketing their products may also inspire obesity and other food related health concerns. The green check marks that are used to convey the idea that the marked foods are safe for consumptions serves to mislead consumers into believing that such materials are safe. The intention of the marks is to influence people from acquiring food that has high sugar content. The patterns that are engaged in consumption may also affect individual health. Notably, people are often unaware of the implications of the food they eat.
The influence of human habits in influencing individual health was also reflected in the video Recruits at Camp Pendleton and Overcoming Bad Habits. In the video, Sanjay Gupta calls for people to take control of their decisions in breaking bad health habits. Thus, the health challenges experienced by various individuals in achieving optimal health stems from the poor mentality and lack of will. The reinforcement of one’s will facilitates the formation of habits that promote the development of healthy patterns.
Conclusively, social determinants greatly influence one’s eating habit and health outcomes. The poor in the society are more likely than the rich to access unhealthy food materials. Also, lack of initiative among the poor explains the prevalence of obesity in such communities. To mitigate the implications of social determinants on health, involved stakeholders should come together to develop measures that can be applied in addressing individual will and financial discrepancies. From the initiative, more Americans will be able to achieve optimal health.
Clay, Brooke. “What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping.” Babble, 2014, https://www.babble.com/best-recipes/what-i-learned-after-taking-a-homeless-mother-grocery-shopping/. Accessed August 4, 2018.
Ferdman, Roberto A. “America’s Growing Food Inequality Problem.” The Washington Post, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/02/americas-growing-food-inequality-problem/. Accessed August 4, 2018.
“Obesity in America.” ABC News, 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDbocZ438f0. Accessed August 4, 2018.
“Recruits at Camp Pendleton and Overcoming Bad Habits.” Camp Pendleton, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSGdq7W-7iI. Accessed August 4, 2018.
Shaich, Ron. “Panera CEO Learns About Hunger on His Food Stamp Diet.” CNN, 2013, https://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/opinion/shaich-food-stamp-challenge/. Accessed August 4, 2018.