HEALTH EQUITY: Why should you care about Health Equity?

Why should you care about health equity? Well, for starters, health equity affects everyone! It means that everyone has a fair chance to be as healthy as they can be. It means breaking down barriers that “personal” factors like safety, housing, income, race and sex can create. Maintaining health equity means making sure everyone has a chance to live a healthy life. Did you know there are easy ways that you can promote health equity in your community? Check out these four steps:

  1. Know what health disparities are.
  2. Know what health inequities are.
  3. Help promote equal opportunity for all.
  4. Distribute information about how to be health and help others be healthy

Health disparities are differences in health outcomes among groups of people. This means that some groups of people can have a higher rate of certain diseases, health issues and mortality rates. These groups can be broken down into categories like gender, age, sex and location. Where you live has a lot to do with your health. Health inequities and health behaviors, like smoking and poor nutrition contribute to health disparities. People in one zip code can live sicker and die younger than people in the zip code right next door. For example, people in Ellendale have a very high risk of poor health whereas neighboring counties in Milton and Sussex have a low risk. Want to know your zip code health? Find out HERE.

Health inequities are differences in health that are avoidable, unfair, and unjust. Health inequities are affected by social, economic, and environmental conditions. A social inequity is when a person or group is treated unfairly. This could be because of their race, gender, or class. An economic inequity is when an institution like governments or schools use their authority to create unfair advantages. Environmental inequity has to deal with where you live. For example, lower income neighborhoods have fewer safe places like parks, limited access to healthy foods and poorer schools.

Help maintain health equity in your community. Find out how you can promote equal opportunity for all and help others be healthy by becoming an action taker today!