What are health disparities? What are health inequalities? What is the difference if any? What social determinants were you aware of before doing this reading and which were new to your way of thinking about obesity? How will knowledge of these Social Determinants of Health change your future practice as a health professional? There are many perceptions about obesity that exist in society. One is that obesity stems from people making unhealthy choices and that if we just educate people about how to eat healthy and how to be active regularly this will solve the problem. Discuss, relative to the social determinants of health. When thinking about obesity prevention many people gravitate towards nutrition and physical activity education at the individual level of the SEM. We learned last week that interventions at the individual level of the SEM are expensive and often less effective than initiatives that target changes the higher levels of the SEM. If you could wave your magic wand, what three things would you change to close the socioeconomic and racial obesity gaps in the United States? In the article “Taking Action on the Social Determinants of Health in Clinical Practice: A Framework for Healthcare Professionals”, the authors say “Training physicians, nurses and other allied health workers to address the social determinants of health is considered one of the key principles for promoting more equitable health outcomes for patients, families and communities. The article suggests that at the patient level, health professionals should “ask patients about social challenges in a sensitive and caring way”. Please discuss if this is common protocol in your profession, if yes – give context (how, where, when, what) it is done, and if no – share why and in what practical situations you think it would be helpful if any.

 

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