Social determinants, as stated in the article by Short and Mollborn, can be split into three levels, the downstream level (individual choices), the upstream level (socio-economic, cultural systems, etc.) and the meso level (interpersonal interactions) (Short and Mollborn, 2015). Most research is focused on the meso level due to the immediate effects and influence it has over someone’s health behaviors. The systems that are involved in the meso level could be an individual’s neighborhood, family, and friends. The importance of social determinants and their effects on health can help determine the reasons for specific health actions and behaviors.
The concepts of health behavior are dynamic and encompass different areas, cultures, genders, age groups, etc. This can be seen within the United States; the likelihood of developing smoking behaviors are more prevalent in the South than in the West (Short and Mollborn, 2015). Some examples of things that health behavior can affect are diet, physical activity, sleep, and coping with stressful events. Health behavior should be looked at on multiple levels and perspectives to fully understand how it can promote and protect health instead of causing harm to it.