Social health definition

Health and Wellness   >   Charles-Edward Amory Winslow   >   Social health definition

In the definition of health, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasises the three aspects of physical, mental and social well being.

Hence the definition can be ‘a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. It is a positive concept emphasizing personal and collective resources, as well as physical and mental capacities.’ It is also ‘a way to remove health disparities.’

Healthcare inequality (also called health disparity in some countries) refers to growing gaps in quality of healthcare and its access across ethnic, racial, gender and economic groups. There are population-specific differences in the presence of disease, well being, or access to healthcare.

Another definition is ‘methods to lessen the effects of social determinants on the well being of individuals and societies. These determinants with ramifying effects are the social and economic conditions that shape the health of communities, individuals, and jurisdictions as a whole.

These conditions determine whether one will remain healthy or become ill. These determinants are about the quantity and quality of a variety of resources that a society makes available to its members.

The ACE Pyramid
The ACE Pyramid

These determinants also decide the extent to which a individual possesses the personal and physical resources to satisfy needs, identify and achieve personal wishes and aspirations, cope with the environment and face exigencies (a broader definition of social health).

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Image source:
Image author: Charles Whitfield, M.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Image license: Public domain

Current topic in Nutrition, Health & Wellness: Social health definition.