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.