The competency, “Analyze determinants of health and disease using an ecological framework” was met through the exercise, “Health Problem Analysis Worksheet” and through reading Chapter 2 in the book Public Health: What it is and How it Works.
The purpose of the “Health Problem Analysis Worksheet” was to pick a disease, I chose diabetes, and to determine the determinants, direct contributing factors and the indirect contributing factors. Turnock (2011, p.73) defines determinants as a scientific factor that relates directly to the health problem and is one of the primary risk factors of the health problem. When creating my health problem analysis worksheet I selected my two determinants for diabetes to be: physical inactivity and dietary consumption. I chose physical inactivity because of the major benefits that physical activity has on preventing and controlling diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, physical activity can help control your blood glucose level, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; if you don’t not already have diabetes it lowers your risk from getting diabetes; it relieves stress, strengths muscles, heart muscles, and bones; and it keeps your body and joints flexible. Next, I chose dietary consumption as another determinant for diabetes. A person’s dietary consumption plays a major role in preventing and controlling diabetes. Studies have found that a high consumption of fruits, vegetables and fish were linked to lower rates of diabetes while diets high in red meats and milk products had a higher risk for diabetes (R., Yu, et al. 2011).
The next component of the health problem analysis worksheet is the direct contributing factors. The direct contributing factors are defined by Turnock (2011, p. 73) as factors that “are scientifically established factors that directly affect the level of determinate.” The three direct contributing factors that I identified for physical inactivity include: behavioral/habits, work and school environment, and socioeconomic status. All three of these direct contributing factors have scientific evidence that they hinder a person’s ability to participate in regular physical activity which then could lead to diabetes. The three direct contributing factors that I identified for dietary consumption include: access to fresh produce, education on nutrition, and food choices. Again, these three direct contributing factors have scientific evidence that they can lead to poor dietary consumption which can then lead to diabetes.
Lastly, Turnock (2011, p. 73) defines indirect contributing factors as the factors that...