When most people hear the word health, I’m sure the first words associated would be hospital or doctor. As we learned in class, however, there are so many other factors that contribute to our overall health. The social determinants of health are just as important as being treated as a hospital. Some of the social determinants we learned about in health include education and biology/genes.
Education has always been stressed in my family. As a daughter of U of M alumni, my parents have always taught me and my sisters that the world is much more open in terms of opportunities afforded to you with a higher education. Being a part of the working-class community, my parents can provide our family with health insurance that allows us to get both necessary and elective health benefits. Along with access to health insurance, education has also my family to practice healthier behaviors. Looking at other family members who do not have college degrees, I can visibly tell the difference in health practices, such as homemade meals versus fast food almost every day. Because with higher education comes a higher income bracket, my parents are often the people they go to when they need something. I guess one bright side of my parents being the high-income earners in the family is that our house is usually the go-to house for events and celebrations.
A social determinant that affects me negatively would be the biology structure of my family. My dad’s side of the family is prone to high cholesterol and heart disease. In 2004, my dad, unfortunately, suffered a mild heart attack. As a result, my family now must take extra precautions when to choose what to eat and I get my cholesterol checked more often than others.
What do you guys think is the most prominent, or biggest social determinant affecting this generation?