Social Determinants of Health – Healthy Eating Again: Higher Household Income vs. Health Behavior Patterns
Income and Healthy Eating. In a prior post, a sample of over 2,000 adult interviews showed a clear relationship between increasing household income and higher odds of healthy eating. This relationship, supported by many other studies, has identified income as a social determinant of health.
The truth is…well, not quite.
Healthy Eating within Higher Income Households. Looking at the odds of healthy eating within higher income households ($75,000 to over $250,000 per year), the Patterns of Adapting to Health (PATH) identified healthy eating odds contrary to expectations. In fact, variation in the odds of healthy eating among adults in higher income households were significantly impacted by the health behavior patterns of those adults. Higher odds of healthy eating were primarily driven by three PATH (Patterns 7, 8, and 9). In contrast, household members conforming to Patterns 1, 2, 3, and 4 actually showed lower odds of healthy eating, in spite of coming from higher income households.
Beyond Social Determinants. Key point: Analysis of health differences across social determinants are likely to mask the true behavioral drivers in operation. It is just as likely that adult conformity to certain naturally occurring patterns of adapting to health drive them to seek social situations and environments that support the expression and goals of their underlying pattern.
The conformity of adult health behavior to identifiable patterns may explain more variation in health than explained by social determinants. #health #diet #income #socialdeterminant #healthbehavior #patternofhealth