Social Determinants of Health vs. Health Behavior Patterns. The availability of healthy food is a key social determinant of health. Sufficient household income is another social determinant which contributes to, among other things, the ability to afford and acquire healthier food.
Household Income and Healthy Eating. In a sample of over 2,000 adult interviews the relationship between household income and healthy eating was supported: Higher household incomes were linked to increased the odds of healthy eating. This supports the social determinant argument that the ability to afford healthier food is a key factor in shaping its consumption.
Patterns of Adapting to Health and Healthy Eating. In the same analysis, the Patterns of Adapting to Health (PATH) explained much greater variation in the odds of healthy eating compared to household income. Further, after controlling for household income, the PATH also identified adults with significantly lower odds of healthy eating irrespective of income effects.
Beyond Social Determinants. While social determinants of health such as household income are certainly relevant to health, the conformity of adult health behavior to identifiable patterns may explain more variation in health outside the context of social determinants.