The Undeniable Correlation Between Poverty and Obesity

We’ve all thought it before – who really eats at Taco Bell and McDonalds? If you’re someone who does dine at these fine establishments, don’t send me hate mail. I’ll just reassure you that I have your best health interests in mind, and you should stop eating fast food. I’m not trying to make enemies by pointing out a social demographic, but I am trying to bring attention to this issue, so we can participate in protecting the health of our country’s people who need financial help.

Recent reports show that a study in which a group of women moved from a high-poverty neighborhood to a low-poverty neighborhood. Examined over the course of two years, these women showed incredibly positive health results from relocating to a higher income community. Compared with the control group, who had no change in living conditions, the prevalence for health risks lowered significantly. The women whose average body mass index (BMI) was 35 or higher, experienced a decreased of 13% in their BMI score. Women with a BMI score of 40 or higher reduced their score by 19.1%.

While the study may still leave some questions unanswered, the findings definitely support change. The researchers concluded that the study’s results “raise the possibility that clinical or public health interventions that ameliorate the effects of neighborhood environment on obesity and diabetes could generate substantial social benefits.”

So what needs to be done to fix this complex problem? The truth is, there may not be only one solution, but that shouldn’t keep us from trying. Health is important for everyone! Perhaps our nation should work to upgrade neighborhoods so that there are ways to be healthful wherever you live. Or, maybe utilizing tax dollars for housing upgrades is the answer. Let’s join together as a nation and fight for health!


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