Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Studies show where you live effects your health, other factors of success

I'm really excited by this Baltimore Sun article by Andrea K. Walker on the impact that living in lower income vs. more affluent neighborhoods has on health and employment. Citing two studies, one by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the other by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Walker discusses the research proven connection between increased health risks and the income level of neighborhoods. She also discusses the connections between location, health and employment, both in terms of finding a job and being healthy enough to keep it.
The implications for the findings are numerous-- in terms of policy, it can help the health industry, as Jens Ludwig, a professor at the University of Chicago and lead author of the HUD study, said "see improving neighborhoods as a form of preventive care focus on preventive care,"; it can assist urban planners in understanding the importance of integrating neighborhoods, providing (through stores or community gardens) access to healthier foods, outdoor spaces, etc; and help us create better social services that address the interconnected issues of social justice.
Hooray for social science!

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