Explaining the wider determinants of health in the UK | The Health Foundation

Posted from The Health Foundation

“Almost every aspect of our lives, from our jobs to our homes, our access to education and public transport, to whether we experience poverty or racism, impacts our health and ultimately, how long we will live. These factors are often referred to as the wider determinants of health.”

The Health Foundation commissioned the FrameWorks Institute to examine how people think about their health, and the health of others, and based on this, recommend how we can frame health communications to tell a more powerful story.

Key messages:

  • Framing –  the choices we make about what we say and how we say it – affects how people think, feel and act.
  • This report outlines an evidence-based framing strategy for shifting understanding and building greater support for action to address the wider determinants of health. The strategy centres on making the issue more tangible for people by using explanation.
  • We need to start by explaining why the wider determinants of health matter. Right now, in the poorest parts of the UK, people are dying years earlier than people in wealthier areas. Quite simply – this is a matter of life and death. We need to say so.
  • We need to ‘go deep’ in our explanation of the issue to show how and why our health is shaped by these wider determinants, and why experiences are unequal across the country.
  • We need to be solutions-focused in our communications and explain how these issues can, and should, be solved.

Access the full report here 

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