Health frames


Social determinants of health

A social determinants of health frame helps understand the place of food in promoting individual and community health.  In a social determinants approach, primary care is only a piece of the health story. Issues of income inequality and other systemic environmental challenges, including the structure of the food system, are bigger issues to be addressed.  Consequently, larger strategies to promote optimal population health are ultimately much more significant than primary care, which focuses on individuals and families typically without much attention to the larger environment in which they are situated.

Well being

In the Engine of Well Being Framework (Jayawickreme, Forgeard, & Seligman, 2012), work, income, education, capacities and related factors are inputs into human wellbeing.  Other parts of the model address processes (internal states that influence individual choices) and outcomes (behaviours that reflect wellbeing, including relationships, engagement and contribution to human society).

Healthy communities

Hancock and Duhl (2009) are key architects of the healthy communities concept.  According to the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition,

"Healthy Communities are based on the following principles:

  • Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
  • Social, environmental and economic factors are important determinants of human health and are inter-related.
  • People cannot achieve their fullest potential unless they are able to take control of those things which determine their well-being.
  • All sectors of the community are inter-related; sectors need to share their knowledge, expertise and perspectives and work together to create a healthy community.

A Healthy Communities process involves:

  • Equitable community engagement
  • Intersectoral partnerships
  • Political commitment
  • Healthy public policy
  • Asset-based community development

Qualities of a Healthy Community include:

  • Clean and safe physical environment
  • Peace, equity and social justice
  • Adequate access to food, water, shelter, income, safety, work and recreation for all
  • Adequate access to health care services
  • Opportunities for learning and skill development
  • Strong, mutually supportive relationships and networks
  • Workplaces that are supportive of individual and family well-being
  • Wide participation of residents in decision-making
  • Strong local cultural and spiritual heritage
  • Diverse and vital economy
  • Protection of the natural environment
  • Responsible use of resources to ensure long term sustainability"

Choice editing

The process, typically driven by government, of restricting mainstream consumer choices to achieve broader social goals such as pollution reduction, improved health and sustainability.

Precautionary Principle

Under CEPA preamble, ""where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation"