Social Class and Health Issues Essay

Submitted By Gabsteeers
Words: 1254
Pages: 6

Social Class and Health
Social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions, and their distribution among the population, that influence individual and group differences in health status. They are risk factors found in ones living and working condition such as the distribution of income and wealth rather than individual factors such as genetics that influence the risk for disease or vulnerability to disease or injury. The relationship between social class and what are now called health inequalities is clear from simple observation. They affect not just adults but children too. Health inequality is the term used in a number of countries to refer to those instances whereby the health of two demographic groups differs despite comparative access to health care services. In the article “Who Gets Sick in America-and Why” by Ranit Mishori and the video Food, Inc by Dir. Robert Kenner emphasizes how a person's social class has a significant impact on their physical health, their ability to receive adequate medical care and nutrition, and their life expectancy. Minority’s face higher rates of diseases and illnesses compared to higher social classes. According to Mishori, the lifestyle advice she gives is different through out the social classes “ I routinely give to my better- off patients-eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, jog in the park or swim laps-must sound like a fantasy to my poorer patients. For them, gym memberships are impossibly expensive, safe public parks are few and far between, and fresh produce is either unavailable in their local store or too pricey” (Mishori 43). People in a higher social class have the ability to eat healthy and exercise healthy methods. They have the money to pay for fresh fruit to stay healthy and pay for a membership to keep their body in shape. Both these methods are a vital component to staying healthy, but only the higher class has access to them. Since vegetables and fresh fruit are quite expensive it is not on the priority list of those families that are struggling to get by. They rather pay money for something that fills them up than fruit that costs more than a meal. In regards to staying in shape to get healthy it is hard for minorities to pay a monthly membership for the gym when they have other bills to pay. It does not help that the minorities live in homes that are not very safe, hindering them the ability to go outside and exercise outdoors in fear of getting assaulted or worse raped. It is not only important to eat healthy and exercise but visiting your local doctor when one is ill or for a regular check up is a fundamental part of staying healthy. People in higher class “are people who have been seeing doctors all their lives, most come when they are perfectly healthy with the goal of staying that way” (Mishori 43). They have the money to go often and realize the importance of staying healthy. Regular check ups are important in order to stay on track of how your health is, by doing check ups you can catch disease earlier and would be easier to treated. In contrast minorities, “ may be unemployed or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. They may skip regular visits to save money or because getting time off to see a doctor is not an option. As a result of language barriers or lack of education, they may not fully understand medical instructions or even what conditions they have” (Mishori 43). People in the minority class go to the doctor only when they are really ill because they do not have the time or money to visit often. A day at the doctors is a day off work and a day off work means attaining less money. Paying the doctor a visit is costly; they rather spend the money on bills and keeping food on the table rather than get treated for their illness. The problem with that, people go to the doctors when they are really ill, meaning the disease, virus, etc. has spread making it harder to be treated or more costly if it becomes more serious. If