This statement is somewhat intuitive as tougher neighborhoods house generally less educated residents, carry higher risks of crime & violence when outside, and provide less access to fresh fruits and vegetables (read about food deserts here).
New research corresponds with this intuition. A study in the Oct. 20 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found a correlation between where people live (a low-poverty area vs a high-poverty area) and their risk for obesity and diabetes. In this study, families with ties to the Housing and Urban Development Dept in numerous metropolitan cities were invited to partake in a randomized lottery to receive housing vouchers to move in to neighborhoods with either low, high or control (they can choose any area to live in) levels of poverty. Those living in the low-poverty neighborhoods had lower BMIs (body-mass indexes) and lower hemoglobin A1c levels (a 3-month average of blood sugar levels used to define and monitor control of diabetes).
This research is significant in that it gives neighborhood developers an opportunity to attempt to design healthier home environments for those living in higher poverty areas. Read the full article here.
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