By Staff Blogger
There are many things that can help to lower your risk of getting diabetes, but did you know that where you live is one of those things? Low income mothers and people who live in poorer neighborhoods have a much higher risk of getting diabetes or becoming obese than those who live in better neighborhoods.
Obesity can greatly increase your risk of getting diabetes, heart problems, and suffering a stroke. Those who live in lower income neighborhoods don’t often have a safe place to go out and exercise so they don’t get the activity they need to burn calories. They also may not have access to grocery stores that have fresh produce or may not be able to afford it.
A team of researchers did a study on 4,500 women who had children and lived in public housing and high-poverty areas. A high-poverty area is one where at least 40% of the incomes fall below the poverty line. The cities they focused on were Boston, Chicago, New York City, Baltimore and LA. The people who volunteered for the study were randomly put into different groups. One of these groups got vouchers to move into better housing. The study began from 1994-1998. A follow up was done from 2008-2010 which included blood tests to test for diabetes.
17.7% of the women in the study who were not offered the vouchers were extremely obese compared to the 14.4% who were in subsidy housing. 16.3% of the women who moved to the higher income neighborhood had diabetes as compared to the 20% that hadn’t gotten to move.
Diabetes severely spikes ever-ballooning healthcare costs so researchers are trying to find ways to help educate people on how to reduce their risk and prevent diabetes, including weight loss management, staying active, and eating healthy.