Health Care Disparities – Social Determinants of Health

Health is a condition of mental, physical and emotional well-being where infirmity and illness are either absent or reduced. It is the state of being fit, where your body functions properly and you are psychologically healthy. A happy state of health is necessary for physical and mental wellness and encourages resistance to disease. In order to achieve this state of health, a person must have positive attitudes towards health, proper diets, regular exercise and a good attitude towards life in general.

Poor health conditions mainly affect people in their childhood. It is more common among children who have parents who are overweight or obese or have poor eating habits and those who attend low-performing schools. Childhood obesity has become a growing concern all over the world because it poses a major health risk to the child’s future medical, economic and social developments. Environmental factors such as poor nutrition, lack of exposure to sunlight, air pollution, etc can also lead to such health conditions.

The relationship between physical fitness and mental health is complex and controversial. It has been seen that physical fitness alone does not guarantee a healthy mind. Instead, a good diet and lifestyle habits along with a good attitude towards life may lead to improved mental health and physical fitness. A combination of a healthy lifestyle, including a regular balanced diet, regular exercise and balanced caloric intake is essential for optimal physical well-being.

Mental health and overall health are important in order to cope up with everyday challenges and survive. A mentally healthy person can undertake more activities, think clearer, concentrate more and be more productive. Healthy mind and body therefore, go hand in hand. However, despite its importance, the fact remains that many people are affected by different kinds of health disparities. There are differences in the types and levels of healthcare, in the quality of healthcare and in access to healthcare. This has become a growing concern for many people because it has been found that these gaps are getting worse among American adults.

Health and fitness are interrelated and cannot be fully separated. A healthy lifestyle, balanced diet and regular exercise go a long way in preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutritional habits may increase the risk of developing such chronic diseases. In addition, a physically fit body is also likely to have an optimistic impact on overall health, reducing the chances of developing depression, stress and other non-healthy mental health conditions. People who exercise regularly and lead a healthy lifestyle are less likely to develop poor physical fitness and more likely to lead a healthy, happy life.

Environmental factors also play an important role in health care disparities. Adolescent girls living in disadvantaged circumstances are more likely to develop poor physical health and greater likelihood of developing psychological health problems. Disadvantaged boys also have higher risks of acquiring common illnesses. These two factors, together with social determinants such as poverty, may have strong effects on health care disparities among U.S. residents. Efforts by government and private organizations to address the discrepancies could prevent health care disparities that could eventually impact millions of Americans.