The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis in public health. Almost half of American children have a chronic medical condition. Depression and anxiety have reached all-time highs. Almost seventy percent of American men and women are overweight or obese. Americans are more ill than they have ever been in history.
Not only are Americans as a population more ill than they have ever been, but the neediest among us suffer most of all. The disparity in health among social classes is growing rapidly. The gap in premature death rates between the poorest and richest Americans has almost doubled since 1980. This disparity begins in the womb – low socioeconomic status is strongly linked to low birthweight — and the disadvantages continue throughout life. In 2009, 600,000 of Chicago’s 3 million residents lived in urban neighborhoods with limited or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, new studies are pulling back the curtain on food deserts, and challenging the old assumption that poor people choose unhealthy food voluntarily. In reality, they often do not have access to healthier options. In America today, the best predictor of health is social class.
Food is one part of the health equation, but it is only one part. Wellness is about more than diet and exercise. It’s about our daily patterns and activities and thought processes. It’s about exposure to toxins and chemicals. It’s about education, and awareness. It’s about our priorities.
WELLNESS & EQUALITY is an evidence-based holistic health blog. Health, at it’s core, is simple. Our modern world, however, is complex. Simple, natural living has become nearly impossible without thoughtful effort. The goals of this blog are to bring awareness to contemporary health concerns, including health-related inequalities, and to encourage a conversation about how we can alter the fate of millions of Americans — including ourselves.