Question Maragret Social Sciences

Low-income and its Impacts on Vulnerable People

Poverty impacts negatively on the health of disadvantages and vulnerable people. Discuss

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Answer Expert #26314

Child poverty is a clear and significant public health concern. This is because child development during the early years lays the foundations for health and development in later life. Family income is one of the key determinants of child development, this is because families with greater material resources are likely to enjoy more secure living conditions and have a greater access to a range of opportunities that are likely to be unavailable to children from low income families.

On average, children who are part of low income families or neighbourhoods have poor health outcomes later in life. Furthermore this poverty will not just be damaging in early years, it will continue to have negative impacts throughout a person’s life.

One example of health concerns relating to lower income families is asthma. There is a higher prevalence of this within neighbourhoods with low income, this is often attributed to high rates of low birth weight and lower rates of breastfeeding. Other causes include less access to health care services when pregnant and when the child is in its early years, which will often lead to lower treatment rates. Housing quality is also a factor, poor housing will often leave young children exposed to environmental pollutants as well as tobacco smoke and rodent allergens.

Another concern is that in low income areas being overweight or obese is becoming a much greater issue, this comes with a large number of other health concerns, including poor self-esteem and type 2 diabetes. This is often attributed to low income neighbourhoods being more likely to lack safe parks and play areas as well as fewer children having the opportunity to partake in organised sport due to a lack of resources. As well as this poorer diets are often attributed to low income households eating poorer quality foods and not investing in healthier options.