Genetics and traditional risk factors such as activity, diet and tobacco use are not the best predictors of whether we stay healthy or become ill. What, then, are the predictors of adult-onset diabetes, heart attacks or stroke, and many other diseases? Social determinants provide the answer. Social determinants of health are the socio-economic conditions that influence the health of individuals, communities and jurisdictions as a whole. These determinants also establish the extent to which a person possesses the physical, social and personal resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs and cope with the environment. This perspective is the key to understanding patterns of health and illness in Canada today.Uniting top academics and high-profile experts from across the country, this contributed volume is the first of its kind published in Canada. It summarises how socio-economic factors affect the health of Canadians, surveys the current state of eleven social determinants of health across Canada and provides an analysis of how these determinants affect Canadians' health. In each case, the book explores what policy options would contribute to better health outcomes and how to ensure that these options are pursued.