Opportunities for Health

All Canadians should have the opportunity to make the choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life, regardless of their:

  • Income 
  • Education 
  • Abilities
  • Ethnic background

LadderThink about an individual’s opportunity for good health like the rungs of a ladder.

  • People at the top rungs of the income and social status ladder: 
    • have more choices and resources 
    • are more likely to be healthy

As you move down the ladder, people have fewer resources and options and are less likely to be healthy.

If the rungs towards the bottom of the ladder were raised, and all of the rungs became closer to the top, the avoidable differences in health that are caused by our living conditions would be reduced. This would help to lower our health care costs because people would be healthier.

In Halton, residents who have higher incomes or live in higher income areas are generally healthier than those with middle income, who are healthier than those with low income. This means that health inequalities affect all Halton residents, not just those living in poverty at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

Tale of 2 smokers

To better illustrate this point, check out an interactive experience of two people as they attempt to quit smoking and lose 20 lbs. You’ll see how the choices they make depend on what choices are available to them.