Unnatural Causes: Place Matters

This episode of Unnatural Causes is about how important your environment and where you live is to your health. The documentary discusses how where you live can impact your health almost as much as genetics. The movie explained how access to food, crime rates, how walkable your neighborhood is, and the construction of your home could impact your health. The documentary looks at a family living in Richmond, California who immigrated from Laos. The dad just had a massive heart attack and is unable to work. His daughter was murdered by a gang, and his son is involved in a gang and drug use. The father is only in his 40s, but because of stress, his heart is failing. The town of Richmond is impoverished and had high rates of death and illness including asthma. The documentary also looked at a city in Seattle that created affordable houses that have air ventilation for people with asthma. The community decided to build new homes that were affordable and made better to decrease the rates of asthma and other illnesses. The town has had mixed feelings about these new houses because they are helpful, but the new homes have displaced many people. I thought this documentary was fascinating, and I thought it was interesting how the community in Seattle is trying to change their housing situation, but they are facing issues with displacing people by not having enough houses for the community members. I also thought it was interesting how important your environment is to your health. Our environment has such a significant impact on our health, and we don’t realize that so many factors can cause to develop chronic health issues and even early death. I also thought this documentary was fascinating because it related to earlier documentaries that discussed the redlining of neighborhoods. The redlining of neighborhoods caused minorities to be moved and kept in areas that have high crime and worse housing. This causes chronic health issues and is a circle problem because poor housing and neighborhoods which leads to poor health.

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One thought on “Unnatural Causes: Place Matters

  1. The part where the new homes displaced a lot of people, despite the purpose being positive, was particularly poignant. I think that demonstrated the trope of groups going into underprivileged organizations and thinking they can make everything better, but actually making things worse sometimes. This is why I really liked the concept introduced at the end of providing communities with tools they can use themselves to have power over their health.

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