Editorial 2 - Break the cycle of disadvantage and disability: The law, health, the environment and international perspectives (pp. 375-384)
Authors: I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Janice Nodvin, Maeve Howett, Benjamin A Gitterman, and Joav Merrick
Abstract: Children who are born into and who grow up in circumstances of social and economic disadvantage experience adverse health effects in a number of ways: they are less likely to have adequate nutrition, they are less likely to have appropriate exercise for their optimal physical development, their parents are less likely to be educated and read to them, they are less likely to attend schools that promote their optimal intellectual development, they are less likely to live in environments where there is good air, clean water and freedom from toxicants, they are less likely to live in houses which are structurally safe and free from toxic hazards, they are less likely to have consistent, continuous, coordinated, comprehensive and culturally sensitive medical care, and they are more likely to experience stresses and obstacles to achieve success with good health, a good education, gainful and meaningful employment and an income that enables them to choose where to live and work (within limits), and to raise a family themselves with relative security and stability.
These realities and their intergenerational consequences have become the template upon which our concept of the Cycle of Environmental Health Disparities is based (see figure 1). We look at these realities from three perspectives: social determinants of health, environmental factors and health disparities.
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