“Place Matters”

I scored an 8 out of 10 on the Health Equity Quiz. I was most
surprised by recent Latino immigrants having the best overall health in the
U.S. A large number of Latino immigrants are coming from difficult
socioeconomic conditions with aspirations of improving their lives and the
lives of loved ones. However, according to this study, their overall health is
being undeniably diminished. The longer they are in the U.S., the worse off
their health becomes.

In “Place Matters”, Richmond, CA is analyzed. Richmond is a town
that was at one point booming due to World War production and manufacturing.  The war created a surplus of jobs and opportunity. After the war however, those jobs left and so did the abundance of opportunity. The overall quality of living greatly decreased.  The availability of healthy foods became almost non-existent with essentially liquor stores and fast food chains being the sole source of “nutrition”. This directly correlated to high rates of heart disease and cancer rates. Violence and crime rates also increased well over national averages. The stress of not feeling safe to even walk outside in your
own neighborhood can have an immeasurable effect on your health. Towards the
end of the film, the town of High Point was analyzed. High Point had similar
conditions to Richmond. However, High Point was able to obtain federal grants
to essentially rebuild the community. New housing, public libraries, community
centers and fresh produce gardens were just a few things implemented that
greatly increased the overall health and quality of life in the community. In
summary, your environment is one of the most important, if not the most
important, determinants of overall health.

Politics greatly affect the illness realm. Public policies can
make the difference and improve or squander the overall health of communities.
In terms of economics, having wealth allows an individual to acquire adequate
treatment and healthcare. Economics also determines what you have access to in
determining the environment in which you live. Culture can also determine what
is or isn’t an illness and what is acceptable in terms of treatment. Biology,
which to me points towards genetics, will predispose you to certain illnesses
and affect your body’s overall ability to combat. If you make healthy
individual choices you can increase the likelihood of having good health.

1 thought on ““Place Matters”

  1. Great response – I noticed that in your post from week 1 you argued that genetics were the most important determinant of health but in week 2, you posted quite a bit of information supporting the argument that economic, environmental and political factors are extremely important as well – did you have a shift in your thinking? If so, what contributed to your shift? Ultimately, what do you think has the greatest implications for health?

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