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Report Shows Impact of Social Determinants on Health


A recent report by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health finds social determinants, or factors outside traditional healthcare can have a significant impact on our health. Adam Lustig, Senior Policy Development Manager with the organization. He explains what those social determinants are.

“It can be where you work, where you live, where you play,” Lustig said. “It can be your economic status, it can be your social status, it can be your ability to get housing. So

Social determinants are a wide variety of factors that actually make up 80% of an individual's health at the end of the day.


He says individuals and communities can face real harm if those concerns aren’t addressed.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has really brought the impact of these health inequities into the spotlight and so a lot of these health inequities have been rooted in long-standing policy decision as well as structural racism.”

The report showed areas where Georgia did well.

“Things that Georgia is doing well, related to Pre-K, 59% of four-year olds in Georgia are enrolled in a state early childhood program and Georgia has had a very long-standing reputation for having a high-quality program as well.”

The study recommended that Georgia increase its tobacco tax, which is currently among the lowest in the nation. The goal of the report is to help reduce disparities  and improve health and economic.

To view the full report, visit www.tfah.org.

The report recognized five policy areas:

Key findings of the new report, Leveraging Evidence-Based Policies to Improve Health, Control Costs, and Create Health Equity.

·        The social determinants of health, and why they are important.

·        Recommended policy actions in each of the 5 policy areas.

o   Supporting Access to High-Quality Healthcare Services

§  Recommendation: Adopt Medicaid Expansion

o   Promoting Economic Mobility

§  Recommendation: Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit

o   Ensuring Access to Affordable Housing

§  Recommendation: Expand the Low-income Housing Tax Credit Program

o   Promoting Safe and Healthy Learning Environments for Children

§  Recommendation: Increase access to high-quality early childhood education programs

o   Using tax policy to encourage healthy choices

§  Recommendation: Tax unhealthy products, like tobacco and sugar-sweeten beverages

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