Employment, food and housing are all factors in determining an individual’s health. Without proper income, healthy foods and stable, affordable housing, an individual cannot thrive in their community.
Employment results in income, which allows individuals the ability to maintain good health through insurance benefits, medicine, healthy food, paid sick leave and parental leave. Unemployment has its own negative health consequences: depression, anxiety, demoralization and more.
Food insecurity includes worrying that food will run out before you are able to buy more, cutting portion sizes or skipping meals because of lack of money for food or the inability to afford balanced meals. The lack of benefit from healthy meals results in negative health consequences.
If the majority of an individual’s income is going towards housing costs, little is left for everything else. This can raise stress levels and negatively affect health. Overcrowding, moving frequently or staying with relatives are all forms of instability as well, with homelessness being the most severe form of house deprivation.
A family’s socioeconomic status can be determined by income level, education level and occupational status. Living below the poverty line affects an individual’s ability to live a safe and healthy life. Many seemingly “stable” families can find themselves struggling to make ends meet following a layoff or an expensive health issue.
To learn more, visit the CDC website.