This sounds like a headline that Jay Leno would satirize on his late night show! Low-income women with children who move from high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhoods experience notable long-term improvements in diabetes and extreme obesity, according to a new study. While I appreciate that this study was the first to employ a important randomized experimental design to learn and document the connections between neighborhood poverty and health, I can’t help but be struck by the obvious: Nice neighborhoods have good schools, parks, low crime, and grocery stores—something the women in the study did not have before moving.
To be fair, this is well designed study that provides sound evidence that “environments in low-income neighborhoods can contribute to poor health”. Good evidence is important to make a case for change. Now that we have proof, what are we, as a nation, going to do about it? Our economic situation locally and nationally is pretty grim right now and we can’t afford to give out housing vouchers to everyone who wants to move. Hopefully, the results of this study, will be used appropriately by our legislators in creating real policy for change and not political platitudes!
To read more about the study click HERE.