“Poor” is the new “Morbidly Obese”

The next time you’re chided by a “friend” or member of your “family” because you smoke “too much” and/or eat “too many” whole rotisserie-cooked game hens, tell them that you’d stand a much greater chance of dying young if you were poor. And while you’re at it, tell ‘em science sent you:

The average low-income person loses 8.2 years of perfect health, the average high school dropout loses 5.1 years, and the obese lose 4.2 years, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health…

This new study published in the December 2009 issue of theĀ American Journal of Public Health, shows that poverty and dropout rates are at least as important a health problem as smoking in the United States…

On average, poverty showed the greatest impact on health. Smoking was second, followed by being a high school dropout, non-Hispanic Black, obese, a binge drinker, and uninsured. The findings are based on data from various national datasets that are designed to measure both health and life expectancy. Healthy life lost combines both health and life expectancy into a single number, sometimes known as quality-adjusted life years. [Eurekalert]

So yes, being poor in America is obviously the worst thing you could to with your health… which is why I have some health care reform you might be interested in purchasing…

What’s more, we’re also known for our obesity rates (64 percent Caucasian; 73 percent African-American), smoking rates (We’re #1!!) as well as a robust poverty-stricken demographic (17 percent of us). Hopefully by this time next year, we can find ourselves topping a list of “Most Improved States.” Are you listening, Santa?

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