Social Determinants of Health
The concept of Social Determinants of Health is an important part of the health and wellness debate. These factors are the conditions in our environment that affect the health of individuals. Many of these determinants affect the quality of life, and health risks. The website on the social determinants of public and individual well-being provides information, tools, and resources. The website is a collaborative effort between the CDC and several universities and research institutes.
The list of social determinants of health is long
While the initial set of factors was relatively limited, this list has grown significantly and is now found in academic textbooks and peer-reviewed literature. The list can be daunting to digest, and may discourage people from becoming familiar with them. Some of the factors include education, housing, income, and social support. Some of the less-exposed, but still important, social determinants include the environment, employment, and transportation.
These determinants can affect individuals’ health in various ways. For example, the availability of safe housing, education, and public safety are influenced by social policies. The lack of resources in an area may reduce the access to healthy foods, or lead to poor health. Similarly, a community’s social infrastructure may be weakened or destroyed by a lack of community resources. Consequently, Social Determinants of Health are vital to the health of the population as a whole.