Factors That May Influence Health Disparities

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition of “uneven and healthy body condition characterized by a capacity for enhancing physical health, and the prevention or cure of disease.” A variety of other definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. In this article, we will be examining what health really is.


A good definition of health is the ability to lead a person’s life in the way that they would live if they were healthy. Healthy living has become synonymous with “wellness” and “being fit.” With the increase in obesity in society over the last twenty years, many people have lost the ability to live as healthy as they would otherwise. As society becomes more unhealthy, the need for healthy policies geared towards older adults has grown. The result is an increasing demand for public health professionals and organizations that promote healthy living.

Older adults suffer from greater health disparities than any other age group. Health disparities occur when people of a certain age and/or ethnic background experience different health consequences. These consequences can include higher rates of hospitalization, chronic disease, fatal illness, disability, depression, and other mental health conditions. One example of a health disparity is that between blacks and whites, which can be seen in varying degrees throughout the country.

Studies have found that older adults in the United States are increasingly likely to be suffering from unhealthy lifestyles that put them at a higher risk of developing unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and poor diet. In addition to these lifestyle choices, health disparities can be attributed to varying access to healthy foods as well as the lack of opportunities to enjoy fruits and vegetables in their diets. In the United States, people living in states with higher overall poverty levels have been found to have greater health disparities in both diet and exercise.

Poor diet and physical activity are two environmental factors that are commonly related to poor health outcomes. It is important to note that studies have found little evidence to suggest that genetics play a role in the occurrence of obesity or other forms of diet-related diseases. Instead, other environmental factors have been positively associated with an individual’s ability to maintain a healthy body weight. These factors include low levels of sunlight exposure, higher unemployment, lower social class, higher urbanization, greater environmental pollution, and less exercise.

The promotion of physical health is a complex issue which includes things like economic stability, access to quality food and water, and the promotion of better lifestyles for those who live in developed nations. Some researchers have suggested that there are limited resources which could help improve the health and wellness of those who live in less fortunate conditions. For example, funding public programs that promote physical education and promoting physical activities among school children are two areas where there has been some success. However, comprehensive research is needed to determine if these programs could help eliminate the disparities in health outcomes between countries.