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Unnatural Causes: In Sickness and In Wealth

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Unnatural Causes: In Sickness and In Wealth-Health is more than health care

In the movie Unnatural Causes: In Sickness and In Wealth, Epidemiologist Ichiro Kawachi highlights an important point that health care can deal with illnesses and diseases but it does not necessarily mean that lack of health care is the cause of maladies. There are other factors in play that in turn affect our health, for instance, people’s ability to eat a healthy diet and avoid smoking is dependent on their access to education, income and social determinants of health. What this means is that a person’s income and social status have a hand in his or her health outcome regardless of the health care afforded to the individual. To put matters in perspective Epidemiologist Nancy Krieger uses the example of identical twins with similar exposures in life until 18 years of age where they were separated. One of the twins became a professional and other was working-class. The difference in exposure in their adult lives made them have different health statuses.

The same point is reiterated by Marmot in the movie whereby he states that a poor person who is smoking has a higher rate of disease or infection than a wealthy person who is smoking. In essence, there is a clear pattern of prevalence of illnesses and maladies among low and middle income earners than the wealthy in the society. The Biology of Stress section of the movie mentions that having job insecurity and being relatively poor are some of the stresses that decrease control over middle class families’ lives, increasing the risk of illness. Unlike wealthy people, low and middle income individuals are always worrying; a trait that makes them release excess cortisol that destroys their immune system and increase their risk of diseases. Comparative Psychologist Carol Shively uses the wealth-illness analogy to explain the prevalence of diseases among monkeys subjected to social subordination…..Unnatural Causes: In Sickness and In Wealth

The narrations brings forth a valid controversy that wealthy people in high positions have equally demanding jobs as low and middle income earners. This demand and control section in the movie attempts to respond to the controversy when the narrator asserts that both subordinate workers and CEOs have demanding jobs but the CEOs have adequate resources, power and control to manage the pressure compared to the subordinates who have less control and power. A wealthy person might experience stress but will manage the pressure by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and choosing a comfortable place and way to live. On the other hand, a low or middle income earner does not have the same luxuries in life to deal with the demands of work and life and is likely to be exposed to diseases. Control comes with power, a trait that is common with the wealthy…..Unnatural Causes: In Sickness and In Wealth