Poverty and Lack of Good Health Go Hand-in-Hand

The U.S. is one of the richest countries on Earth, but has among the worst healthcare and the highest poverty rate. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how these are connected. However, it goes beyond lack of healthcare access. Over thirty million (1 in 8 Americans) people lack proper shelter, clothing, and are food insecure. This includes 690,000 children and over 700,000 senior Americans. People who are food insecure lacked access to adequate food at some time during the year because they didn’t have enough money for groceries. It has been shown that there is a relationship between being food insecure and having high cholesterol, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. These findings suggest high-risk populations with limited resources may not be able to purchase and eat diets needed to prevent and manage chronic disease conditions. What is even more alarming is families with smokers use grocery money to buy cigarettes, leaving more children food insecure. With the economic downturn, the number of hungry Americans is increasing as evidenced by the long lines at food banks across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the maximum Food Stamp benefits falls more than $63 short per month. $63.00?? This is shameful considering how much we’re willing to spend to bail out U.S. Automakers and the Iraq war! Something must be done about poverty because it is the right thing to do, just as healthcare for all Americans is the right thing to do.


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