W2 Activity: Not Just a Paycheck

I did not do so well on the Health Equity quiz (5/10).  For being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the US definitely did not live up to my expectations on how healthy people truly were here.  I was surprised that the biggest factor of whether or not you are healthy depended on how rich you are, and that the US spends nearly twice that of any other industrialized countries on health care.  Yet, there are huge disparities between counties for the life expectancy of its residents, and we are only number 29 for the life expectancy rank.

For the video this week, I decided to watch Not Just a Paycheck as I was curious to see how losing one’s job affects not just their family, but also their health.  After watching the video, and watching people have to sell their cars and possessions just to get by showed how losing their jobs negatively affected their mental health.  While I have thankfully never been in a position like this, I do believe that having to sell everything I own to just scrape by would cause me to fall into a depression.  It is sad to watch the middle class disappear in Greenville, and it reminds me of the statement that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”  A lot of theresidents who lost their jobs were forced to work in fast food, slowly turning people who were once middle class into lower class citizens.  It showed how America kind of screwed over the middle class, as people on the rich side of town continued to get big shopping centers and bigger houses.

There were many health disparities that could be explained by non-genetic factors.  The middle class workers who lost their jobs were basically tossed aside by the companies they once worked for.  Working in fast food, many of the employees were not able to keep the lifestyle they had before, and many of them were forced to make different lifestyle choices.  They might not have been able to afford the same types of food, making them resort to eating unhealthier things, and since they no longer had health insurance, they were unable to go to the doctor if the need arose, as the medical bills would have been outrageously expensive.  For the people who did not find employment, their sedentary lifestyle led some of them to gain a lot of weight.  This film made me realize just how hard it is for some Americans to stay alive and stay healthy in a world in which the middle class is slowly shrinking.

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