Social And Cultural Factors That Can Influence Your Health

Asbestos, used extensively in schools until the 1970s, was still present in more than 8,500 schools in 1980, potentially exposing over 3 million students (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1987). Children also are a demographic subgroup prone to infectious diseases because of their exploratory behavior, lack of prior exposure to most infectious agents, and association with other children. Substantial advances in vaccines have reduced rates of many infectious diseases during the past decades. Some water pollutants are biological agents, some are chemical agents, and some are radionuclides . Biological agents generally come from fecal contamination and include such bacteria as salmonella and E.

All of these things can prevent them from getting health care they need. Not being able to get health care can have a huge impact on your health. A health-promoting environment includes clean air, pure water, appropriate sunshine, and esthetics. It avoids environmental stressors including excess noise and toxic substances. Other dietary stressors include alcohol, tobacco, coffee, refined carbohydrates and oils.

Some health policies attempt to change youth behaviors that are thought to affect health. An example is the requirement for regular school attendance, which may both reflect current health and exert effects on a given child’s likelihood of future health. Body burdens can improve or harm health, based on their biological characteristics and presence during certain periods of development. Relatively lower body burdens of organic mercury will reduce cognitive development in young children more than at older ages (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000c; National Research Council, 2000). A child’s biology determines how physiological processes unfold and how organ systems adapt to outside influences.

Biological response patterns, including responses to stress, novel situations, and primary relationships, can directly and indirectly influence other biological, cognitive , and behavioral processes. The term “biological embedding” has been used to describe how the external environment influences and shapes the biological environment , which in turn changes the way the individual interacts with the external environment . Finally, the relative lengths of the following sections are not meant to signify the relative importance of the influences.

Thus, future research should adapt more appropriate pathway techniques to help to sort out the patterns by which the influences interact to produce different states of health. Education helps people to understand the importance of clean environment and maintaining good health. How easy it is for you to access health care is a big determinant of your health. If you have health insurance, you are more likely to visit your doctor on a regular basis. These trips can include screenings and preventive care that keep you from developing chronic disease.

coli, such viruses as hepatitis A and rotavirus, and such parasites as Cryptosporidium parvum. Chemicals in water include such metals as lead, mercury, and arsenic, such natural toxins as Pfiesteria toxins, organic chemicals including pesticides, PCBs, trichloroethylene, and chlorination by-products, such inorganic ions as nitrates, and such radionuclides as radon. Systems affected by these contaminants include the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal system, and the hematological system. In addition, children are both more highly exposed and more susceptible to the contaminants found in water. For example, lead in drinking water was found to be the cause of lead poisoning in several infants whose blood lead exceeded 10 mcg/dl (Baum and Shannon, 1997; Shannon and Graef, 1992).

From the viewpoint of influences on population or sub-population health, the relative frequency of the different influences is at least as critical as the degree of the risk that they pose to individuals. Additional research is needed to refine understanding of the relative contribution of each of the influences and the relevance of each across a variety of social and cultural groups. Moreover, inferences about the relative importance of the variety of influences are heavily dependent on the nature of the theoretical models that underlie statistical analysis. If more proximal influences are mixed with more distal ones, they may appear to have stronger effects, even in situations in which more distal factors are operating on a multiplicity of proximal influences and therefore have cumulatively greater effect overall.

  • It is important to understand how these things affect your health so you can take steps to improve them, and improve your health.
  • Due to lack of income unemployed people do not have access to health care.
  • People who are continually exposed to poor living conditions have a higher risk of developing health problems.
  • Conditions such as pests, mold, structural problems, and toxins in the home can all affect your health.

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Unfortunately these substances are still socially acceptable, and it will take a little effort on our part to avoid them. But new, more accurate health education programs are beginning to draw attention to the health risks posed by these things and it is fast becoming more socially acceptable to abstain from them.

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In some communities, schools have been built on relatively undesirable land, such as landfill sites like Love Canal. Schools are often located on old industrial sites or near highways, resulting in exposure to auto emissions and air pollution . Many school buildings are old and poorly maintained, leading to exposures to air pollutants, radon, asbestos, pesticides, and lead . The U.S. General Accounting Office reported that 20 percent of primary and secondary schools had indoor air quality problems; more than half had environmental pollutant or building ventilation problems that could affect air quality (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1995). Radon above the EPA’s action level was found in 2.7 percent of schools surveyed during the 1990–1991 school year (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1992).

Heavy drinking during pregnancy is the cause of fetal alcohol syndrome , the leading known cause of mental retardation (Abel and Sokol, how to lose weight fast 1987; Sokol, Delaney-Black, and Nordstrom, 2003). Conservative estimates place the incidence of FAS at 0.33/1,000 live births . More common effects include alcohol-related birth defects, alcohol-related neuro-developmental defects, and subtle effects on a variety of behavioral, educational, and psychological tests resulting from low to moderate levels of drinking during pregnancy . Available evidence suggests that good communication skills and the development of positive relationships with the clinical team may offset the effects of negative emotions on health care adherence (Buston, 2002; García and Weisz, 2002; Shaw, 2001). Often these health behaviors are considered proxies for health, even though they may not necessarily constitute health per se.