The Price of Poverty: How Income Level Impacts Health
If you’ve ever been in a position where you were living in poverty, you understand that being poor directly impacts everything you do. It happens in a way that’s so stifling. When a person lives in an impoverished situation for an extended amount of time, their life expectancy isn’t as great as one who earns more because of a few important factors.
Access to Nutrient-Rich Foods
If you don’t put the proper fuel in your body, you won’t be able to survive for a long time without experiencing chronic illness or diseases. What many people fail to realize is that high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are some of the most rampant illnesses, but you can lower your chances of developing them with the right diet.
However, if you live in an area where fruits and vegetables are a lot more expensive than many of the pre-packaged foods that are packed with sodium and sugar, you’re more likely to end up in a situation where your health fails you.
Someone who’s on a very, very tight budget might think it would be cheaper to choose the inexpensive, artificial foods. Unfortunately, what you save on groceries, you end up spending in doctor’s visits and bills. Doctors and even nurses with a nurse practitioner certificate understand the connection between diet and health, and they can advise you on building healthy habits.
Quality of Life
Part of healthy living involves the ability to unwind, take a sabbatical or enjoy a vacation. It’s important to disconnect and enjoy some time to de-stress. When a person is living in an environment that’s extremely stressful for an extended period of time, it can be very hard on their health.
Stress is a killer and can be the cause of heart attacks and sudden death. The higher a person’s income, the more disposable income they have to be able to go on vacation, get massages, go to the spa and unwind.
They also tend to have far fewer pressures that cause extreme stress. This is one of the reasons income is tied closely to long-term health outcomes.
Exercise is so crucial for a few reasons. Two of the main reasons surround mental health and weight management. A significant amount of endorphins gets released whenever you exercise. This step greatly improves a person’s overall health. Without access to a gym membership or the time to workout at home, it’ll be difficult to exercise and it’ll take a direct toll on your health.
In most cases, a person who’s living in poverty is usually working at least 90 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment. Knowing this, they’re more than likely not getting a lot of rest. While this type of lifestyle isn’t sustainable, it’s also an easy way to dig an early grave.
Just like the body needs water, it needs rest to be able to clean, refresh and rejuvenate itself internally.
In a country with wealth and riches like America, it makes no sense for anyone to have to deal with impoverished conditions. With important conversations, legislation and intention, these circumstances can be permanently eliminated.