(Please excuse my ignorance if this is an obvious question, but my Googling skills don't seem to be up to par today.)

I was just wondering if there is a branch of sociology that deals with health and wellness - like nutrition and exercise - when looking at a community or nation as a whole. If there is, would this be something that one could study in graduate school? (I'm interested in how lifestyles affect societies, not really the biology and chemistry part of health. I mean, I realize that I'd probably have to learn about those things, but they're not what I want my main focus to be.)


There is a branch of sociology, which would be the sociology of health. Research into 'active' lifestyles and nutrition would fall under sociology of health.

Unlike public health which will take a much more straight forward approach in addressing issues based on biological/essentialist research, sociology of health will look into the social constructs of health, how that's implemented in society and the issues surrounding it (i.e. fat discrimination, issues of class/race/gender in the 'health' rhetoric' and so on.

Many universities with sociology programs might offer an undergraduate course in the sociology of health. I took one and loved it. It's not my main focus in sociology but I do find the social construct of health and medicine highly fascinating, especially in the way in seems to be used to justify our discriminations.


Not necessarily sociology, but there is a graduate degree known as the Master of Public Health.

It's been a while since I've looked into it, but the degree typically covers health administration, policy, and nutrition, and disease prevention. You obviously aren't a doctor, but you work with them.

Basically, imagine that doctors work at the individual level, while MPHs work at the community level.

From what I can tell, this is a general page for public health programs that will give you more information than I can given how far removed I am from medicine now.

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