Assignment #3: Changing the Social Determinants of Health
November 8th 2013
What are some negative effects of industrial production on our food supply? How does our social location affect our access to good food?
Industrialized food production in today’s society poses many risks to the average consumer. Manufacturers of illness are constantly producing synthetic and processed foods that are entering our bodies and having affects on morbidity and mortality rates (Abramson, 2012). These processed foods are made increasingly convenient to those that are living a busy lifestyle and in low income areas as they are easily obtainable and make healthier foods scarcely available. Our social location, a result of our income, affects the availability of healthy foods and clean water. Low income areas have more access to cheaper and easily accessible processed foods. Nutritional implications are caused by consumption of these foods such as cardiac problems, diabetes or malnutrition (McIntyre & Rondeau, 2009). Food is a daily necessity worldwide and our contaminated food supply continues to grow as it poses many of these health risks. Organic fresh food availability is vital in order to preserve healthy living. Social movements such as Canadian Biotechnology Action Network are available to protest against genetically modified food production. The Toronto Mobile Food Market and Canadian Association of Food Banks provide healthy fresh foods to low income areas and are incremental steps taken to solve the issue locally.
How does inadequate housing negatively impact our health? What other aspects of our surroundings should we consider?
Adequate shelter is a necessity to safe and healthy living however many Canadians are finding it extremely difficult to obtain housing that is affordable and as a result, there is a massive increase of homelessness. Only about 11 out of 100 affordable housings are made vacant yearly for low income families. These housings are available and affordable to some however, they do not necessarily provide adequate comfort, supply and supports a household should (Shapcott, 2012). This small-scale number leaves many individuals on the streets without sufficient shelter. There are significant negative effects on health that arise from the lack of housing as the stress of being homeless may cause physical/mental problems, repertory illnesses, alcohol/drug abuse and less access to care which ultimately leads to poor health status (Bryant, 2012). Individuals need a roof over their heads but also need space, security and to be located in a safe, unpolluted environment. When appointing affordable housing to individuals it is imperative to jointly understand that homelessness could potentially be a result of many other social determinants of health such as work, location, gender or income. As an attempt to reduce homelessness, social initiatives are taking a stand...