Washington – For very-low income women, a move into even a slightly better neighborhood can have significant impact on their health, according to a new study. They were less likely to be extremely obese or have diabetes, researchers found.
Those are among the key findings of a study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and published in the Oct. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine .
“Neighborhoods, Obesity, and Diabetes — A Randomized Social Experiment,” looks at the long-term impact of housing mobility on obesity and diabetes from the HUD study Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program: Final Evaluation. HUD’s study tested the long-term health impacts of approximately 4,500 very low-income families living in public housing projects in high-poverty neighborhoods in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
“This study proves that concentrated poverty is not only bad policy, it’s bad for your health,” says HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Far too often, we can predict a family’s overall health, even their life expectancy, by knowing their zip code. But it’s not enough to simply move families into different neighborhoods. We must continue to look for innovative and strategic ways to connect families to the necessary supports they need to break the cycle of poverty that can quite literally make them sick.”
Read the full release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.