Place Matters

I completely failed the health equity quiz. I was far too generous with my answers for the United States. The statistic that shocked me the most was the fact that were are ranked 29. We have gotten worse over the years with our health care and we have not gotten better. American’s think we are the greatest country yet our healthcare is globally getting worse.

I watched Unnatural Causes 5, “Place Matters.” This episode covers the environmental and social factors that contribute to health. It focused on two cities using them as examples to communicate the health detriments associated with poor neighborhoods.

Once a neighborhood starts to struggle, it falls down a rabbit hole. People in poor neighborhoods have to deal with poverty tax. It costs more for healthy groceries and buying a car than it would for someone in an affluent neighborhood. If it is expensive to eat healthy then nutrition becomes poor. People end up eating fast food because that is all they can afford. Along with having a poor diet, stress hormones are also health problems.  Chronic stress can come from; violent neighborhoods, bad living conditions, and loss of hope. The emotional pain caused from the added stress and minimal support deeply hurt communities. It is very difficult to change a city.

To try to rebuild a city, the episode showed how important community involvement is. It started in the schools, teachers started programs that would help students build hope. Hope takes some of the burdens off of kids and allows them to believe in change and be more active in their lives. The students are taught that they are important and can make a difference in this world. Adults became involved with the government to make policies to help create better housing. Poor living conditions are very unhealthy. The community members work with a government organization to create healthier living conditions. This way houses would be free of mold and other air toxins. It is very difficult to change a neighborhood,but the more involvement the easier it is to help build a better neighborhood.

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