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« September 2010 May 2011 »

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Welcome to the February 2011 Unnatural Causes
E-Newsletter, an intermittent update of news, reports and musings about the social determinants of health equity reported by users of Unnatural Causes.

This Issue:
news | tools | reports | journals | about us


Guaranteed Income Good for Your Health
Here’s a fascinating tale about a guaranteed minimum income experiment that took place in Manitoba back in the 1970s. The data were never analyzed-until now.  Surprise, surprise:  health outcomes improved. 

Do Free-Market / Weak-Welfare States Boost Obesity?
Oxford University researchers have linked rising obesity to the stress and insecurities of life in free market societies even more than the prevalence of fast food. Check out the Reuters report

The Prevention and Public Health Fund Under Attack
The Trust for America’s Health provides regular updates on the battles around the Prevention Fund of the Affordable Care Act – including attempts to defund it – and how you can become involved.

Infrastructure, Equity and Community Health
Stimulus funds can promote healthier communities and other benefits if invested in equitable infrastructure projects, especially transportation, according to PolicyLink’s Center for Infrastructure Equity, which is helping lead this fight.


The Foundations for Lifelong Health
This seven minute video and accompanying brief from the Center for the Developing Child summarizes how early experience can shape health and development trajectories through the life course, and how social policies can help or hinder.

10 Things to Know About Health
These 10 key messages about the roots of health equity remain the most widely used of the many companion tools and handouts available on the Unnatural Causes companion website.
Note also that its health equity resource database keeps growing.

Tools for Community Health Promotion
The Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII), has produced several concise reports and toolkits on strategies to incorporate health promotion into the built environment, especially when cities and agencies wish to rebuild low income and “blighted” neighborhoods.

Money-Driven Medicine - the documentary
The continuing battles over the Affordable Care Act spotlights the insurance mandate. But some provisions in the Act enable Medicare to experiment in changes that will cut costs while improving care.  What are the obstacles?  The documentary Money-Driven Medicineoffers the only systemic look on film at our medical-industrial complex and the economics underlying our $2.6 trillion health care system.  Four different length versions are available, all on one DVD, from California Newsreel.


The State of Health Disparities 2011
The CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report — U.S. 2011 is the first of what the CDC promises will be periodic reports “examining health disparities in the U.S.” Dowload the PDF [116p] version of the report.

‘Healthy’ Children’s Foods Not So Healthy Despite Packaging
A new study by the Prevention Institute reveals that 84% of children’s foods labeled “Better for You” don’t even meet basic nutritional standards

The State of Working America 2011
The Economic Policy Institute has released its biannual report on the State of Working America, perhaps the most extensive look at trends in incomes, wages, jobs and poverty published.

Wealth Skewed towards the richest of the rich draft

Economic Policy Institute. 2011. Wealth Skewed Towards Richest of the Rich. The State of Working America. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute. Accessed 2/3/11


Communities Tackling Health Inequities
A special supplement of Family & Community Health, guest edited by Joyce Buckner-Brown, spotlights health equity and on-the-ground efforts to tackle the social determinants of health in communities that are part of the CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH).  Available free.

Social Conditions, Health Equity and Human Rights
This report written by Unnatural Causes advisor and RWJ Commission to Build a Healthier America research director Paula Braveman, argues for the integration of health equity and human rights frameworks for the mutual enrichment of both fields by focusing on the meaning and fundamental role of health promoting social conditions. Available free.

Strong Medicine for a Healthier America
This special issue of the Journal of Preventive Health is devoted to articles and commentaries elaborating on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America.  Available free.

Note: most if not all of the resources spotlighted in this Newsletter are available on the Unnatural Causes website.

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about us

UNNATURAL CAUSES was produced by California Newsreel in association with Vital Pictures, Inc. California Newsreel is the oldest non-profit documentary production and distribution center in the country, now celebrating its 43rd anniversary.

For more information on our extensive collections of acclaimed DVDs, click on the links below or visit us at www.newsreel.org.

Unnatural Causes part of Health and Social Justice Banished part of African American Perspectives Ezra part of the Library of African Cinema A Killer Bargain part of The Globalization catalog

health and social justice

african american perspectives

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