15 July 2016

Items of interest shared with Network members

1. Transgender health: an opportunity for global health equity
The Lancet is publishing its first Series on transgender health. Transgender people live in all countries, but their acceptance by communities and freedom to live with their chosen gender identity or expression varies according to culture and society. Read more: http://www.thelancet.com/series/transgender-health.

2. Global Nutrition Report 2016: Rates of obesity and overweight are rising in every region of the world and in nearly every country according to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report. The independent report reveals insufficient progress in the fight against all forms of malnutrition; for example, almost all countries are off course on efforts to reduce anemia in women and to prevent further increase in diabetes. Read more: http://globalnutritionreport.org/

3. The Social Determinants of NCDs - Youtube Video
Walk the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark, as Dr Alessandro Demaio explains the Social Determinants of NCDs and Global Health. Click here to watch the video.

4. You can Create Change: In October 2015, the Sudbury & District Health Unit (SDHU) launched a campaign called You Can Create Change. It is part of the SDHU’s health equity communications and social marketing activities, which aim to shift the conversation about health equity in our communities, and, more importantly, to encourage community members to take action to address health inequities. As part of this campaign we have developed a video. This video highlights the notion that everyone can create change in their community.
The video, along with information about the campaign, can be found online by visiting www.sdhu.com/change

5. The challenge of false beliefs Understanding and countering misperceptions in politics and health care:
Misperceptions about politics and health can undermine public debate and distort people’s choices and behaviour. Why do people hold these false or unsupported beliefs and why is it so difficult to change their minds? An emerging literature examines the difficulty of correcting false or unsupported beliefs and the reasons for this resistance, but relatively little is known about the sources of misperceptions, the psychology of misperception belief, or how to most effectively counter these false claims. In addition, most studies focus on the mass public’s beliefs in well-known misperceptions; the mechanisms by which false beliefs become politicized, disseminated, and integrated into individual belief systems and the role of elites and the media in that process are less well understood. Read more: https://www.isr.umich.edu/cps/events/Nyhan_20160613.pdf.  

6. How to improve collaboration between the public health sector and other policy sectors to reduce health inequalities? A study in sixteen municipalities in the Netherlands. The causes of health inequalities are complex. For the reduction of health inequalities, intersectoral collaboration between the public health sector and both social policy sectors (e.g. youth affairs, education) and physical policy sectors (e.g. housing, spatial planning) is essential, but in local practice difficult to realize. The aim of this study was to examine the collaboration between the sectors in question more closely and to identify opportunities for improvement. The study found that the policy workers of social sectors were more involved in the public health network and more frequently supported the objectives in the field of health inequality reduction. Both social policy sectors and physical policy sectors used policies and activities to reduce health inequalities. More is done to influence the determinants of health inequality through policies aimed at lifestyle and social setting than through policies aimed at socioeconomic factors and the physical environment. Where the physical policy sectors are involved in the public health network, the collaboration follows a very similar pattern as with the social policy sectors. All sectors recognise the importance of good relationships, positive experiences, a common interest in working together and coordinated mechanisms. This study shows that there is scope for improving collaboration in the field of health inequality reduction between the public health sector and both social policy sectors and physical policy sectors. Ways in which improvement could be realised include involving physical policy sectors in the network, pursuing widely supported policy goals, making balanced efforts to influence determinants of health inequalities, and increasing the emphasis on a programmatic approach. Read more: click here.

7. Beyond Individualised Approaches to Diabetes Type 2
Explanations for type 2 diabetes are broadened beyond the individual body and ‘bad lifestyles’ to include major institutions, the social and material contexts of food and eating, and employment. Precarious employment, a social determinant of health, encourages changes to food practices, lowers working conditions, worsens health, can bring poverty and increases shift work, a causal risk factor for diabetes. Scientists have played a part in revolutionising foods and technologies which minimise labour and movement. There are excess additives in processed food. Genetic explanations for the higher rates of diabetes in First Nations peoples give way to social explanations: colonial history, British/Euro-American cuisine, food insecurity, trauma and social conditions resulting in chronic stress. Self-management education takes a ‘nutritionist’ approach towards food and eating and tends to minimise the social context and skills of those with the condition particularly women workers in poorer social groups who have higher rates of diabetes (T2DM). Read more: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/soc4.12369/full

8. Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments: https://www.apha.org/~/media/files/pdf/factsheets/health_inall_policies_guide_169pages.ashx

9. 'Afternow' - what's next for the health of society?
Professor Phil Hanlon from the University of Glasgow discusses such seemingly intractable problems as; obesity, overwhelming involvement in various 'addictions', loss of wellbeing and inequalities as emergent products of our late modern culture and social structures. He argues that these problems will not improve until there is a radical transformation of our whole society and the culture that has created it. Watch here:

10. Many Australians pay too much for health care – here’s what the government needs to do: https://croakey.org/many-australians-pay-too-much-for-health-care-heres-what-the-government-needs-to-do/?mc_cid=0373aa9239&mc_eid=04b9c370f0

11. What would Brexit mean for the NHS, social care and disabled people? https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jun/14/brexit-nhs-health-social-care-disabled-people-eu-referendum