It has long been argued that simply having less money than another individual in the United States would make your more apt to be overweight and unhealthy. Now there is a study that confirms it:
People who move from a poor neighborhood to a better-off one could end up thinner and healthier than those who stay behind, according to an urban housing experiment that tracked low-income residents in five major cities for 10 to 15 years.
The research, set up by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, shows that health is closely linked to the environments people live in — and that social policies to change those environments or move people away from blighted areas could be a key tactic in fighting the "diabesity" epidemic.
The study released Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine took advantage of a 1990s social experiment approved by Congress primarily to track the changes in income, education and employment of people given the opportunity to move out of low-income housing in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Boston. At least 40% of the residents at the start of the study made less money than the federal poverty threshold.
"This is one of the first studies to show that where you live — the circumstances of your neighborhood, the social characteristics of the people around you — all these things may play a role in your own health," said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at the Yale School of Medicine who was not involved in the study. "Your health is not just what happens to you, but is influenced by all of those around you and the environment. … Some environments are toxic to health."
There is more evidence than ever before that environment plays a major role in the well-being of American citizens. When discussion of combating the diabetes and obesity epidemic in this country arises, will the issue of income disparity and class influence be be addressed?
What do you think of the results of this study? Surprised? Does this information ring true to you? Let's discuss in the comments.