Tackling the social determinants of health
Lifestyle drift is a term that refers to the tendency for policies and programmes to start off by recognising the need for action on wider determinants of health inequalities, only for recommendations and interventions to drift downstream to focus largely on individual lifestyle factors (circled in red). As we can see, this is only part of the picture.
Any lifestyle intervention that fails to recognise the broader conditions of people’s lives will have a limited effect. It is important, therefore, to look beyond the immediate causes to the broader conditions of people’s lives, the causes of the causes.
What do you think about this model? Is lifestyle drift something you recognise?
Over the next few steps we’ll explore an example of how these broader conditions can be outlined in this model and invite you to model a health outcome that you encounter regularly e.g. diabetes, infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, cholera, CVD.
Think of that health outcome now. In the next four steps we will give a worked example of nutrition being applied to the social determinants of health model.