Unnatural Causes: Place Matters

This episode was important because it goes along with just how many factors go into a person’s health, in this case, their environment.  In fact, incredibly accurate predictions about one’s health can be made about where someone lives. Not only does it indicate the kinds of chemical/physical factors one is exposed to, but it also shows what kind of social factors to which you’re exposed.  If there’s a lot of violence or if your neighborhood isn’t exactly walkable, that definitely has an effect on whether you’re able to exercise or not. Additionally, what we learn about health typically comes from our environment. This includes not only what people are used to eating, but also what stressors people become accustomed.  Because of these factors, people’s risks for getting certain diseases rises and literal years get taken off of lives. Therefore, it’s not only changing individual behaviors that we need to focus on, but it’s entire communities. I think that one of the main points that I got from the film is that there seems to be a push and pull between blaming the health of individuals on their own behaviors and on institutions.  Although individuals are certainly responsible to a certain extent, I don’t think enough people know about the vast extent that institutions play a role in shaping these communities to be the way that they are in the first place.


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