Wealth Equals Health

Wealth Equals Health


IN AMERICA, WEALTH PRETTY MUCH
EQUALS HEALTH, AND THAT’S TRUE FOR ME AS IT IS TRUE FOR THE POOREST
PERSON IN THE “INNER CITY.” THERE’S A GRADIENT,
AND ALL THE WAY ALONG THE WAY, YOU CAN FIND YOURSELF
SOMEWHERE ALONG THAT GRADIENT. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’RE POOR
AND YOU HAVE BAD HEALTH AND THEN YOU’RE NOT POOR
AND YOU HAVE GOOD HEALTH. FOR EACH STEP
ALONG THAT WEALTH GRADIENT, YOU HAVE A CORRESPONDING STEP
OF HEALTH. WHEN YOU’RE A NEW IMMIGRANT, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WEALTH
AND HEALTH IS RELATIVELY LOOSE. AS YOU BECOME MORE AMERICAN, THAT RELATIONSHIP BECOMES
TIGHTER AND TIGHTER AND TIGHTER. Narrator: AFTER ONLY FIVE YEARS
IN THE U.S., LATINO IMMIGRANTS
ARE 1 1/2 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
THAN WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED… AND TO BE OBESE. RATES OF HEART DISEASE
AND DIABETES ALSO INCREASE. MORE THAN 20%
OF LATINO HOUSEHOLDS ARE POOR. THE LONGER THEY’RE HERE, THE MORE IMMIGRANT FAMILIES
STRUGGLE WITH DISCRIMINATION, LOW-PAYING JOBS, BAD SCHOOLS,
AND BAD HOUSING. Dr. Iton:
AND IF THAT ENVIRONMENT IS GIVING YOU CUES
THAT YOU’RE NOT VALUABLE, THAT YOU HAVE VERY LITTLE
PROSPECT FOR A GOOD FUTURE, THAT STARTS TO BUILD UP, AND YOU INTERNALIZE
THAT DEVALUATION.

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