There are many different definitions of health, including one that focuses solely on genetics. Genetics can be passed down from one generation to the next, but sometimes there are other influences that affect health. Lifestyle and social factors can also influence a person’s health, whether for better or worse. For example, environmental triggers can lead to certain illnesses, even for people with the most ideal genetic makeup. To understand this better, let’s explore each of these factors.
Health is a concept that encompasses many different aspects of our lives, including our ability to function in society. The first definition is largely subjective, as we define what constitutes good health differently for different people. The second definition of health emphasizes the role of the environment and the individual in determining one’s own health. The third definition of health, meanwhile, focuses on individuals and their individual scales of value. Assuming that health is important for each individual, the third definition can include the ability to adapt to the environment and realize one’s own aspirations.
The social determinants of health refer to the conditions of the environment and the socioeconomic status of an individual. These conditions, combined with genetics, influence a person’s health outcomes and their quality of life. Research shows that these social determinants can increase the risk for poor health. Furthermore, poor nutrition is correlated with higher rates of disease, including diabetes and heart disease. In addition to genetics, these social determinants affect the quality of life and access to health care.