short answer 1

Min 100 words each post 1 and 2 

  • Depth in your response when dis/agreeing or acknowledging post 1 and 2 below.  Depth in response, providing new information, AND analyzing post in a way that extends meaningful discussions by integrating multiple posts, and offering alternative perspectives.

Post 1:

1. (a) Why do we typically think of health only in terms of health care and personal behaviors? (b) What are the sources of these messages? (c) Who benefits from them? Explain.

I think we typically regard health in terms of health care and personal behaviors because those things are, usually, within the individual’s control. Furthermore, I think we inherently impose judgement on those who knowingly maintain unhealthy behaviors, like smoking or binge drinking. I think individual accountability is built into American culture, so it’s easy to follow that train of thought into the realm of health and health behaviors. 

Putting the responsibility of health on the individual, though, doesn’t account for social and environmental factors that determine one’s health. For example, a 1982 article from the New York Time reported that “Residents fear that high levels of air pollution from five oil refineries and 37 chemical plants in [Contra Costa] county in the San Francisco Bay area are in part responsible for the lung cancer rates, which are 40 percent higher in industrial sections of the county than in nonindustrial areas.” I think the individual can benefit  from individual responsibility, especially as was demonstrated in Unnatural Causes, Episode 6: “Collateral Damage.” In the video clip, the Marshallese people started community driven health clinics to help prevent diabetes within the population. Realistically, I think the Public Health field puts a lot of weight into self-efficacy and personal responsibility for health, even knowing the social and environmental determinants of health.

2. (a) What social and economic conditions support and encourage healthy choices? (b) What social and economic structures affect health that have nothing to do with individual choices?

Throughout the Unnatural Causes video segments, one theme was resounding: health is tied to wealth. According to the documentary, the single strongest predictor of health is one’s position on the class pyramid; those in the upper classes enjoy healthier options like parks and organic produce, while lower class neighborhoods may have fast food on every corner and no produce. 

Racism, as an institutionalized social construct here in America, imposes an added burden on one’s health. It’s theorized that racial segregation, exclusion, and prejudice can over-stress one’s endocrine system, leading to minorities to die younger and endure higher infant mortality rates than whites (Unnatural Causes, Ep2, 2008). 

3. When confronted with evidence of health inequities, many people from United States respond that the outcomes are unfortunate but not necessarily unjust. (a) Define the term “just”.  (b) Do you agree or disagree that the outcomes are not necessarily unjust? Explain why or why not.

The term just can be defined as “behaving according to what is right or fair.” I fully disagree that health inequities are “just.” As aspiring public health professionals, we’re educated to help identify and address health disparities, and often in disadvantaged neighborhoods. 

4. (a) What policies at the local, state or federal level (e.g., education, transportation, employment, etc.) might reduce social and economic inequities? (b) What would a more equitable society look like? (c) Who can make it happen?

Social inequities can be addressed by engaging the public, and completing a needs assessment. Local communities will give feedback on what’s needed;  it can be as simple as a park clean-up, or as complex as a medical shuttle service. The National Institute of Health asserts the importance of having local community health workers, who can improve access to health care, help with community screening, and act as a liaison between health care professionals and the community (2014).  What’s paramount is that the needs come from within the community, not from an outside individual/committee. 

Post 2

1. (a) Why do we typically think of health only in terms of health care and personal behaviors? (b) What are the sources of these messages? (c) Who benefits from them? Explain.

I think we typically regard health in terms of health care and personal behaviors because those things are, usually, within the individual’s control. Furthermore, I think we inherently impose judgement on those who knowingly maintain unhealthy behaviors, like smoking or binge drinking. I think individual accountability is built into American culture, so it’s easy to follow that train of thought into the realm of health and health behaviors. 

Putting the responsibility of health on the individual, though, doesn’t account for social and environmental factors that determine one’s health. For example, a 1982 article from the New York Time reported that “Residents fear that high levels of air pollution from five oil refineries and 37 chemical plants in [Contra Costa] county in the San Francisco Bay area are in part responsible for the lung cancer rates, which are 40 percent higher in industrial sections of the county than in nonindustrial areas.” I think the individual can benefit  from individual responsibility, especially as was demonstrated in Unnatural Causes, Episode 6: “Collateral Damage.” In the video clip, the Marshallese people started community driven health clinics to help prevent diabetes within the population. Realistically, I think the Public Health field puts a lot of weight into self-efficacy and personal responsibility for health, even knowing the social and environmental determinants of health.

2. (a) What social and economic conditions support and encourage healthy choices? (b) What social and economic structures affect health that have nothing to do with individual choices?

Throughout the Unnatural Causes video segments, one theme was resounding: health is tied to wealth. According to the documentary, the single strongest predictor of health is one’s position on the class pyramid; those in the upper classes enjoy healthier options like parks and organic produce, while lower class neighborhoods may have fast food on every corner and no produce. 

Racism, as an institutionalized social construct here in America, imposes an added burden on one’s health. It’s theorized that racial segregation, exclusion, and prejudice can over-stress one’s endocrine system, leading to minorities to die younger and endure higher infant mortality rates than whites (Unnatural Causes, Ep2, 2008). 

3. When confronted with evidence of health inequities, many people from United States respond that the outcomes are unfortunate but not necessarily unjust. (a) Define the term “just”.  (b) Do you agree or disagree that the outcomes are not necessarily unjust? Explain why or why not.

The term just can be defined as “behaving according to what is right or fair.” I fully disagree that health inequities are “just.” As aspiring public health professionals, we’re educated to help identify and address health disparities, and often in disadvantaged neighborhoods. 

4. (a) What policies at the local, state or federal level (e.g., education, transportation, employment, etc.) might reduce social and economic inequities? (b) What would a more equitable society look like? (c) Who can make it happen?

Social inequities can be addressed by engaging the public, and completing a needs assessment. Local communities will give feedback on what’s needed;  it can be as simple as a park clean-up, or as complex as a medical shuttle service. The National Institute of Health asserts the importance of having local community health workers, who can improve access to health care, help with community screening, and act as a liaison between health care professionals and the community (2014).  What’s paramount is that the needs come from within the community, not from an outside individual/committee. 

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