This summer, we’re partnering with Univision Contigo to promote “Una Vida Mas Saludable,” sharing ideas and tips for living a healthier life. In this article, Heluna Health CEO, Dr. Blayne Cutler shares her thoughts on how making healthy choices as individuals can build healthier communities. Every action adds up!
“When you think about tracking your health, where do you look? If you are like most people, you look to your ‘numbers’: your weight, your blood pressure, your cholesterol—even, perhaps, your hemoglobin A1C (a long-term count of the sugar in your blood). These are all extremely important measures of your health.
Now consider another set of numbers that may, in fact, be even more important for your lifelong health: your zip code, the number of playgrounds in your community, the distance to your nearest farmer’s market and your reading level. These may not seem like numbers related to health, but it turns out that they are critically linked to whether you get sick and how long you live.
Researchers are learning that some of the most basic elements of our lives within our communities—something called the ‘social determinants of health’—may matter even more than the actual health care we receive at the doctor’s office when it comes to living longer and healthier lives. In fact, the social and environmental aspects of our lives may matter up to twice as much as the actual health care we receive, according to one recent study.*”