Taking care of one’s health is one of the most important things that every person should do in order to live a long and happy life. Many factors can affect our health; however, the longevity and average rate of death have changed throughout human history. If a few centuries ago people lived near 30 years in case they were lucky, then now this number has increased more than two times. This change in life expectancy could be achieved by developments in the medical and social spheres. However, if changes in medicine are quite clear (new drugs and treatment technologies help to cure deadly diseases), then social determinants are not on the surface. Nevertheless, social conditions have a grand impact on people’s health and affect every person.
One of the most influential social determinants of health today is inequity. Those who have more money have better access to therapies and medicines and vice versa (Clarke 102). Not everybody can afford an effective treatment of severe illnesses or good insurance that would cover many potential diseases. This problem is important for me right now, because, unfortunately, there is always an opportunity to get a serious disease, as cancer, that would require a lot of money to cure. When I imagine this kind of situation, it makes me depressed.
The inequity is closely connected with another social determinant, food insecurity. Not everybody can afford healthy food full of vitamins and nutrients (Clarke 103). Poor people have to eat low-cost products, consisting of carbohydrates, trans fats, palm oil, etc. Besides their cost, they also do not require time to cook, which makes them more preferable for the poor ones. As a result, this food leads to obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, I do not have an opportunity to buy healthy products or have time to cook them, that is why this issue concerns me, too.
The life course approach can help to study the situation better. The application of this technique can aid in determining what specific measures the government and people should take to improve public health. Inequality is a major public health problem, expressed in the lack of access for all people to medicines and wholesome food. The importance of affordable health care to society cannot be overemphasized because it enables people to thrive and develop.
Clarke, Nancarrow Juanne. Health, Illness, and Medicine in Canada. Ontario, Oxford University Press Canada, 2021.