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Ola: Health is Everything

 

 

MOHALA I KA WAI, KA MAKA O KA PUA

Flowers thrive where there's water, as thriving people are found where living conditions are good.

 
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Ola is a film about health, hope, and the power of communities to health themselves.

We travel to remote parts of Hawaii and discover selfless individuals who've nurtured innovative solutions to the challenges affecting their communities.

 
 
 

The Social Origins of Health

HOW HEALTHY YOU ARE DEPENDS ON MORE THAN JUST YOUR INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR

 
 
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LACK OF HOUSING

People who don't have a decent place to live, are homeless, or who must spend a majority of their income on inadequate housing, all suffer from extra health care burdens. These include increased stress, which damages both the body and the mind, and a persistent inability to afford routine health care, which leads to more severe and chronic diseases..

The Solution: Healthy Neighborhoods

Public policies that encourage healthy neighborhoods, affordable housing development, and remedies for the special living challenges of our senior population can help address some of the underlying causes of poor health. Innovative programs that encourage individuals and organizations to make an impact on these issues must be encouraged and supported.

 
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high risk of chronic disease

The incidence of chronic disease and unhealthy behaviors like smoking are much higher among those populations with a high school education or less. Lack of quality education also leads to higher rates of poverty, which influences all the other social origins of health.

THE SOLUTION: HEALTHY LIFESTYLE EDUCATION

Early education and exposure to healthy lifestyle choices, nutrition, and academic excellence can encourage a lifetime of healthy behaviors and choices. More importantly, a comprehensive and quality education equips individuals with tools to escape poverty, homelessness, and environmental causes of poor health.

 
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the price of healthy eating

Often, eating healthy can be an expensive proposition. Access to healthy, affordable food is a challenge for all given Hawai'i's isolation and dependence on imports, but these burdens are particularly high for those who are not among the financially well off.

THE SOLUTION: ACCESSIBLE COMMUNITY GARDENS

Community gardens that are accessible to all, and policies that encourage the development of sustainable, organic agriculture projects will help expand access to nutritious foods. In addition, an expansion of programs to encourage healthy and gardening among youth can instill a lifelong commitment to better nutrition.

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STRESS EFFECTS On HEALTH

Where you live can be a much better indicator of the quality of your life than all else combined. The evidence is clear: stress kills. Higher rates of stress are linked to increases in diseases like hypertension, obesity, and depression.

The Solution: SUPPORTIVE SOCIAL PLANNING

More comprehensive social planning that incorporates environmental issues, economic development, transportation, and public safety, will create more livable, more supportive, and more healthy environments for people to live in.

 
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environmental decay

Just as in nature, people can only thrive under supportive living conditions. Greater environmental decay and general disregard for protecting our natural resources lead to conditions that threaten our livelihoods and our society's health.

THE SOLUTION: respect for the 'aina

Greater respect for the 'aina (the land), and a more comprehensive approach to managing our resources (watersheds, agricultural lands, and our air), can encourage environments that allow people to thrive and lead healthier lives.