HSH 702 Obesity and the Social determinants that Impact on its occurrence

HSH 702 Obesity and the Social determinants that Impact on its occurrence

Exploring Contemporary Issues through a Social Health Lens


Viewing health through a social lens creates many challenges as it commands a sense knowing (historical), being aware (current) and being able to forecast (future) social factors that have the capacity to influence health for the better or for the worse. As a promoter of health it is important that you develop a sense of social awareness so that your health practice encourages a preventative rather than reactive set of actions. The discussion paper (AT1) provides you with an opportunity to investigate a topic or issue, and, in doing so, present the issue through a social health/social determinants lens. Importantly, researching the paper will build on your skills to find evidence based information and your ability to critically assess the literature to develop your understanding of how social factors influence health.

Overall, my intent is for you to gain an awareness of how social factors can impact health, and thus, extend your intellectual curiosity of social health and wellbeing.

Be mindful to consider the learning objectives you set out in AT2_Week 1 (i.e., does the process of undertaking assessment task one and/or the topic areas assist you to achieve – one, two or three of your learning objectives?) Think about your assessment as a learning resource for YOU. Undertaking your paper in this manner encourages you to take ownership of your learning, and, therefore, obtain greater meaning from the exercise of researching, preparing and writing your discussion paper.

Your task – is to discuss a contemporary issue and in doing so identify the social factors that influence that issue in terms of good or ill health. 

You are to research and apply a social determinants view of health to an issue of your choice. I encourage you to consider a topic that you want to learn more about, for example, a topic that relates to your work or an issue that you are concerned about personally. Whatever the reason, make it a topic that is of interest to you so that the researching and preparing the assessment task brings greater meaning to you, and further develops your knowledge of this area.

You have been introduced to the concept of social health, and introduced to a social determinants framework in the first weeks of trimester. Additionally, you have a sense of public health and the promotion of health through reading the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and other key readings. You are required to explore your issue along with these concepts in your own research and analysis in order for you to construct a paper to the requirements of academic work. That is, your discussion must be based on evidence and what academics tend to call the literature (e.g. peer reviewed journals (i.e., evidenced based publications), text books). In presenting a discussion based on evidence you must substantiate where you have obtained the information from.

Your paper must demonstrate why your chosen topic is a contemporary health issue and, therefore a clear discussion of your issue in context is important to determine this. In order to do this you need to demonstrate your understanding of:

  • The issue at hand
    • Provide background information of the issue
  • Why it is considered a contemporary issue?
    • The meaning of contemporary in this context
  • Why the issue is considered a health issue,

(i.e.) what are the implications of the issue to health?

  • Social health theory
    • Social determinants of health theory

You also need to discus 2 examples of social determinant’s that underpin your issue: What are the social factors that underpin your issue? – Identify and discuss the factors (social determinants) that have the potential to impact on health for the better or worse in this particular case.


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