The Connection Between Obesity, Income Level, and Level of Education

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • The Connection Between Obesity, Income Level, and Level of Education

    We are, in large part, a nation of do's and don'ts. When I say this, I am not referring to our legal code so much as general societal recommendations. For instance, it is suggested that our to do list include getting a college education, marrying well, buying a home, having one point how ever many children, going to church, saving our money, going on vacation once a year, staying healthy, growing old, and retiring. The list of things we should not do are pretty much the opposite of what is on a to do list. 

     

    Unfortunately, the game is rigged, the dice are loaded, and the deck is stacked. The disparity between those who have and those who do not is wide and growing wider. The college education that is recommended for success is being priced beyond reach for many, and the income that accompanies that education will never be had by many more. Most sad is the fact that there seems to be no special hurry to address any of it. Poorly educated people with miniscule incomes tend to not be as healthy as the middle and upper class folks. Inadequate education and inadequate income leads to a lesser standard of heath, and part of that poor standard is the problem of obesity.       

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    The Relationship Between Income Level and Obesity

    Obesity among low-income and food insecure people makes them more vulnerable to obesity not only because they often engage the same sedentary lifestyle as other Americans but because they are confronted with unique challanges as well.

     

    Low-income neighborhoods often do not have the grocery stores or farmers markets where fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products can be purchased. Neighborhood convenience stores where there is limited availabilty of fresh produce and low-fat items are more the norm. When such products are available it is often of substandard quality or too expensive. 

     

    In addition, low-income neighborhoods have a greater number of fast food restaurants that serve a number of unhealthy foods at a low price. Many of these restaurants are located in close proximity to schools. 

     

    The Relationship Between Level of Education and Obesity

    Researchers have found that lower levels of education in a household is associated with higher levels of obesity. From 2007-2010, children ages 2 to 19 had a lower rate of obesity in households where the heads of the household had higher levels of education. In family units where the head of the household had less than a high school education, 24% of boys and 22% of girls were obese. In family units where the head of the household had a bachelor's degree or higher, the obesity levels were 11% for boys and 7% for girls.

     

    It was also found that women who were 25 years old or more and had less than a bachelor's degree were more likely to be obese than those women who had a higher education. 

     

    Researchers point out that a lack of higher education is not the absolute cause for a problem with obesity but that advanced education allows a person better access to a higher standard of resources that will decrease the possibilty for obesity.           

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    References:

    amednews.com 

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Published On: September 30, 2014