Discuss how health is socially determined.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There have been numerous studies that indicate that social factors, such as socioeconomic status, place of residence, education, access to healthy food, race, and employment can be significant determinants of health. This all plays out in countless different ways. One factor easily affects another and can cause a cascade of...

Get
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

There have been numerous studies that indicate that social factors, such as socioeconomic status, place of residence, education, access to healthy food, race, and employment can be significant determinants of health. This all plays out in countless different ways. One factor easily affects another and can cause a cascade of health effects.

Let's look at a hypothetical example to illustrate this. Imagine a community with limited or no access to public transportation. Someone living there will have less access to education and jobs that often are located in city centers. They may have to spend more of their limited income on a personal vehicle, leaving less available for other expenditures. With less money to spend on healthy food, they might center their diet on unhealthy processed food, negatively impacting their health.

Stress should also be a consideration. It is well known that stress negatively impacts physical health. People who lack access to steady employment or safe housing will likely experience high levels of stress, which could take a toll on their health.

It should be no surprise that economically secure people tend to have better health than the poor. Having the free time for regular medical visits and preventative procedures is much more common among the socially advantaged. They will likely have better medical insurance and better access to quality medical facilities as well. In this and many other ways, health is greatly tied to social conditions.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on