The environment for women's health has changed over the last 25 years. Increased use of automobiles can lead to health risks from lack of physical activity. There has also been an increase in access to and consumption of unhealthy food. Other changes in the past 2 to 3 decades include the significant increase in the number of women who are heads of households and responsible for all aspects of a household and family. Many women now are also having children later in life, which poses interesting issues for both biology and sociology. The growing stress faced by women and the effect of stress on health and illness are issues that need a more comprehensive examination, as do issues of mental health and mental illness, which have been more common and thus increasingly prominent issues for U.S. women.
In September 2015, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop to shed light on important determinants, consequences, effects, and issues attending the relative disadvantage of women in the United States in comparison with women in other economically advanced nations. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
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