Home >

Unnatural Causes DVD
Unnatural Causes DVD
Contribution: $100.00

Product Code: OD0869

Is inequality making you sick?

UNNATURAL CAUSES is the acclaimed documentary series broadcast by PBS and now
used by thousands of organizations around the country to tackle the root causes
of our alarming socio-economic and racial inequities in health.

The four-hour series crisscrosses the nation uncovering startling new findings
that suggest there is much more to our health than bad habits, health care, or
unlucky genes. The social circumstances in which we are born, live, and work can
actually get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and

Among the clues:

• It's not CEOs dropping dead from heart attacks, but their subordinates.

• Poor smokers are at higher risk of disease than rich smokers.

• Recent Latino immigrants, though typically poorer, enjoy better health than
the average American. But the longer they're here, the worse their health

Furthermore, research has revealed a gradient to health. At each step down the
class pyramid, people tend to be sicker and die sooner. Poor Americans die on
average almost six years sooner than the rich. No surprise. But even middle
class Americans die two years sooner than the rich. And at each step on that
pyramid, African Americans, on average, fare worse than their white
counterparts. In many cases, so do other peoples of color.

But why? How can class and racism disrupt our physiology? Through what channels
might inequities in housing, wealthy, jobs, and education, along with a lack of
power and control over one's life, translate into bad health? What is it about
our poor neighborhoods, especially neglected neighborhoods of color, that is so
deadly? How are the behavioral choices we make (such as diet and exercise)
constrained by the choices we have?

Evidence suggests that more equitable social policies, secure living-wage jobs,
affordable housing, racial justice, good schools, community empowerment, and
family supports are health issues just as critical as diet, tobacco use, and

As a society, we have a choice: invest in the conditions for health now, or pay
to repair our bodies later.

Share your knowledge of this product. Be the first to write a review »