The social determinants of health

Food, Transport and Unemployment


Wilkinson and Marmot's The Solid Facts (2003) explores the Ten Social Determinants of Health. Three vital determinants to our wellbeing include Food which relies on a good quality, varied diet and food supply, in order to prevent malnutrition and deficiency diseases (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003, p.26). Transport is another essential determinant to our wellbeing that provides exercise, reduces fatal accidents, increases social contact and reduces air pollution in our everyday life*1(Wilkinson and Marmot 2003, p.28). Unemployment is also a social determinant of health that can contribute to anxiety, depression, and increase the risk of premature death if a stable, quality job is lost (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003, p.20). In our society it is not unusual to find people who are unemployed and have no access to public transport and an inadequate food supply.

Paragraph 3- Transport

The availability and costs of healthy and nutritious food is a major public health issue. Rural areas lack in hourly public transport, and poor, unemployed individuals who can't (never say can't or don't. It is always cannot or do not when writing essays at UNI level) afford a vehicle may find it difficult to access major super markets in order to purchase fresh and nutritious food such as fruits and legumes. Major junk food chains such as McDonalds or KFC are becoming more available in rural areas, and these fast food restaurants have become a cheaper alternative for unemployed individuals to buy a meal high in sugar and fat in order to ease their hunger.

Transport is an essential element to accessing food in our society. A relationship is evident between unemployment, food and transport when you consider an unemployed person may not have a car, and relies on public transport to get to the supermarket. Public transport runs only during specific hours, irregularly, or not at all in some rural settings. Food can be a considerabl journey away for those outside a city. People are also limited with what they can comfortably carry on public transport-too many bags may be too heavy, or they cannot lift their shopping carts onto buses etc...

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