ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Barriers to Health

Updated on January 17, 2013

Although we all need to take responsibility for our personal health, there are factors that can make a healthy lifestyle difficult. They include:

  • Family Barriers
  • Health System Barriers
  • Community Barriers

Children learn from their parents how to handle their emotions and conflict.
Children learn from their parents how to handle their emotions and conflict. | Source

Family Barriers

By the example parents and older siblings set, they can be a force for good or bad health.

Studies show that although genetics may be one factor that influences health, vicarious learning from our family often tips our health choices one way or the other. Rena Repetti described this as the "cascade of risk" that creates "vulnerabilities (and exacerbating preexisting biological vulnerabilities) that lay the groundwork for long-term physical and mental health problems."

Repetti classified risky family characteristics into two categories:

  • Overt family conflict: frequent episodes of anger and aggression
  • Deficient nurturing: relationships that are not supportive, but cold, and neglectful

Lack of insurance sends patients to the hospital only in severe cases - no preventative care is given.
Lack of insurance sends patients to the hospital only in severe cases - no preventative care is given. | Source

Health System Barriers

Since insurance premiums have risen in cost drastically over the past decade, 2/3 of working, uninsured Americans choose not to purchase health insurance because of the cost.

The problem this presents to our communities and our nation, is that most Americans tend to only seek out medical care when they experience a problem, thereby not receiving preventive health care such as cholesterol screening, mammograms, and more. It's estimated that the United States loses $65-130 billion per year due to poor health and early death of uninsured Americans. Compare this to a Kaiser Foundation study, which revealed that if the Obama Administration's approved policies were actually implemented, it would cost $48 million to insure every American.

Communities can have a significant influence on under-age drinking.
Communities can have a significant influence on under-age drinking. | Source

Community Barriers

Because individuals and families are also members of communities, advocates for health care often seek reform at this level.

Communities can be powerful forces for promoting or discouraging healthy behaviors at several levels: in schools, government agencies, and the health care system.

Examples of community effects on individuals:

  • Positive: Several schools in Minnesota, after administration learned that teens need more sleep, implemented new start times. Three years of data collected revealed the following results: more students ate breakfast, attendance improved, fewer students were tardy, teachers noticed better alertness in class, the school atmosphere was rated as calmer, there were fewer disciplinary referrals to the principal, and fewer trips to the school nurse for stress-related and other problems. (National Sleep Foundation, 2010)
  • Negative: Communities can also generate higher rates of peer-inspired risk behaviors such as underage alcohol use and higher rates of binge drinking among college students than among non-college students.

Break the Barriers

Now it's your choice. You may take this knowledge of these environmental factors that could be working against you and just give up the fight for good health, or you can become your own advocate: pursuing personal health, acting as a good role model for your family, and helping affect healthy lifestyle change systems and laws in your community.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)