Topic: social determinants

Overcoming inequality by improving Internet access

July 22, 2014 — Health and wealth are intimately connected. In the United States, people with lower incomes and less education are more likely to smoke, to be overweight, and to be less healthy. One reason for this may be the divide…

Syrian refugees in Lebanon struggle with social isolation

Syrian refugees in Lebanon are experiencing the same struggles as many other groups of refugees, but their particular circumstances make social isolation a problem as well, writes Susan Bartels, a fellow at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights in an…

Happiness & health

[ Winter 2011] The biology of emotion—and what it may teach us about helping people to live longer Could a sunny outlook mean fewer colds and less heart disease? Do hope and curiosity somehow protect against hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections? Do…

Health care with dignity

[ Spring/Summer 2011 ] Alum Robert Taube helps homeless people build healthier lives—and self-esteem. Casey Hubbs’s world crumbled after her husband died, and she wound up living under a bridge in Boston. Her existence was grim, and she felt ashamed. “I smelled…

Accentuating the positive

[ Spring/Summer 2012 ] It’s an all too common scene: A girl looks at a photo in a fashion magazine and compares the model’s thin, airbrushed figure to her own rounder shape. She tells her friend, “I am so fat. I hate…

Can neighborhoods hurt our health?

[ Spring/Summer 2011 ] A single mother living in public housing may want to feed her children healthy food, but if the nearest affordable grocery store is a crowded bus ride or expensive taxi trip away, that goal may feel unattainable. At…

From patient to public health leader

[ Spring/Summer 2010 ] Indian Health Services Director Yvette Roubideaux is on a quest to improve American Indian health. As a child in Rapid City, South Dakota, Yvette Roubideaux, MD, MPH’97, used to fill her bag with books whenever she went to the doctor.…

Poverty, disasters & health against all odds

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] The most powerful influences on population health are not the medical interventions that diagnose and treat disease. Rather, they are the broad social forces—war or peace, poverty or financial security, political oppression or fundamental human rights—that shape all…

An unhealthy digital divide

January 28, 2014 — K. “Vish” Viswanath, professor of health communication at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), is interested in finding better ways to communicate health information to lower-income individuals. He answers three questions about a recent study he co-authored that…

Improve education to boost global economy

Despite progress made in educational systems in recent decades, over 100 million children are not enrolled in primary or lower-secondary school, and many of those who do attend lack basic reading and writing skills, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Meanwhile,…