The Link Between Poverty And Poor Health Is Real
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

The Link Between Poverty And Poor Health Is Real

Why do those with lower income tend to get sick more often?

199
The Link Between Poverty And Poor Health Is Real

When people talk about poor health, the conversation may oscillate towards the subject of healthcare. You'll always find a different view on how to insure people and get them the care they need, but that doesn't address the root of the problem.

People must recognize diseases as crises. Instead of plugging holes in a sinking ship, they must look at what caused those gaps to be there in the first place. For many people struggling with health complications, the root cause is poverty.

The link between poverty and health outcomes becomes more evident with research. It affects people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds, which is why the relationship must become a national conversation.

No Money, No Medical Care

The working class exemplifies the first connection between poverty and health. People who work multiple jobs to meet bills, take care of their kids and pursue their passions don't have extra money for expensive monthly premiums. Even if they have the option to get cheaper alternatives through their employer, many people opt out of health insurance plans.

They need that money for immediate needs, like food and bills. Even if it's not what they prefer, they pass on insurance and avoid going to the doctor because visits could mean bankruptcy. Their poverty worsens their poor health and may even cause it, depending on a person's quality of life.

Impoverished groups deal with more daily stress than those without financial concerns. Constant high levels of stress weaken the immune system because corticosteroid lowers the number of lymphocytes in the blood. It's a vicious cycle people want to break out of, but can't afford to.

Less Income Increases Risks Factors

Businesses that put profit over the wellness of their customers know they can make easy money off people in poverty. The tobacco industry is an excellent example of this. Tobacco brands have targeted low-income communities for decades by filling neighborhoods with tobacco retailers in small shops.

The tobacco products turn people into addicts, forcing them to divert any extra money they have towards habits that harm their health. They may have never formed those addictions if industries hadn't sought them out and put them at a higher risk by increased exposure to certain products.

Financial Inequality Continues to Grow

Some people may wonder why those in poverty don't get a better job. While that doesn't take into account the inability of low-income communities to afford college educations that secure higher wages, it also doesn't consider financial inequality.

The U.S. has a level of income inequality that has grown to an all-time high, even when compared to the Great Depression. It's a problem seen around the world as well.

South Africa ranks high on the inequality chart because the country still struggles with the economic effects of the apartheid system which left a majority of South Africans impoverished. These people who struggle to survive can't afford to move out of environments or low paying jobs that expose them to disease, like many other communities in other countries that don't make enough money.

New Ways to Approach Policy

A quick way to address the health crisis related to income inequality is to look to economic and health policies. Public policies affect large groups at once, so they're an excellent way to enact profound positive change.

Elected officials must remember who's at stake. Adults who can't afford healthcare for themselves also can't provide it for their children. Politicians actively seeking systemic improvements must fight for children's healthcare to approach the healthcare crisis from all angles.

When those politicians remember who's affected and which rungs of the country's economic ladder suffer along with impoverished people, policies will be more productive and focus less on helping lobbyists profit off of avoiding the issue.

There's No Time to Waste

Once the facts are evident, there's no way to ignore the effects of poverty on health. Economics and health care are a joint cause, not two topics to think about separately. While there's proof for the link that traps impoverished people into a cycle of disease, there's hope for the future in the people willing to recognize the problem and address it as a whole.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

41462
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

116066
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments