The main Determinants in America: Health Disparity

Usamah Ali

During lecture, we discussed determinants and how they affect the frequency of an illness or a disease in either a positive or negative direction. When we look at America, we have one of the best health care. Yet when we look at the difference in races and what group of people get the treatment they need, it becomes increasingly obtuse. Looking at two different problems that we face in America, obesity and tobacco use,  we can see the clear difference in terms of race. Non-Hispanic white women are recorded to have a over prevalence of obesity then African American women(the difference being 33% vs 49.6%). You can see similar trends when comparing non-Hispanic whites vs any other ethnicity. What seems to be the problem? The answer is health disparity. Health disparity is the difference in health and distribution of health determinants depending on what race or ethnicity you are. This problem has many reasons for it. From socioeconomics to community engagement or lack thereof, the lack of representation of minorities in research studies are just a few examples. The main that I want to focus on is community engagement. Community is a very influential part of everyday life as it can manipulate you to do things that you would normally not do. Despite that there being a huge movement to not use tobacco or cigarettes, tobacco use is still fairly used among different minorities. Is it because there isn’t enough ads in these specific areas or is it because of culture.

Here we have the example known as the Healthy Black Family Project. The main purpose is to implement protocol or other interventions from the Diabetes Intervention Project and culturally apply to urban minority populations in east Philadelphia. Similar to the recent lectures, people don’t change their health habits even if told that what they are doing is bad for them. They require extrinsic sources. In this project, people in the work force are given incentives and such as monetary gain for not smoking tobacco as well. Many researchers from the University of Philadelphia are proving classes on nutrient as well as physical activity classes to decrease the over prevalence of obesity .

So why is it that so few organizations such as this one helping reduce issues such as obesity or tobacco use. Is it because people just don’t know that this problem exists or would it be because nobody  understands how this could happen to begin with?






4 thoughts on “The main Determinants in America: Health Disparity

  1. Good points brought up here. I feel that people just blame others and think it’s their fault that they are a certain size. I feel like honestly when people are brought up eating unhealthy and have not been educated otherwise then the pattern of bad health is passed down. Also people may not have the time needed to do a bunch of research to find healthier alternatives. I feel that making sure everyone has the opportunity to learn how to live healthier lives is very important in order to break the cycle of bad habits.


  2. *Talking about your Tobacco piece* I strongly agree with your thoughts about community influences, they certainly are very powerful, its sad to see sometimes b/c a lot of kids don’t know any better. I think that however, individual family poverty problems are a greater cause. So many families both new and old struggle with rising their kids; providing food and paying for education etc put tremendous pressure on households whose residents are not from money hence don’t have great education. Smoking has been passed down as a cultural value in many places, children who are raised poor and taught that smoking isn’t bad will grow up to teach the same.

    Chandler B


  3. You did a great job with this blog! The one piece that I wanted to bring up is the tobacco and health care with in companies. I believe that large companies are starting to take notice in their employees health and even their personal families health as well. I know the company I work for has a program where, you and are partner go through however many steps you get some kind of reward back My brother in law works for GE, and he has told me that now at very function they have they are required to only serve healthier foods and very little processed foods, to help change the habits of their employees as well as their families.
    Great Job!!
    Colleen Wilburn


  4. This is a wonderful post! I connect very well with the many points you brought up. (you should read my latest blog as it covers a similar topic
    But to answer your question it is because one: lack of knowledge and two: theres no media coverage or campaigns on these kind of activities and organizations; why would there be. Why would the media (one of the main problems to this issue) reverse everything its doing and start advertising these organizations it wouldn’t make sense for them. And this brings up another problem on the corporate side. Overall way to be attentive.

    Jaiden Deal


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