Social And Social Diverty, Poverty And Unhealthy Lifestyles
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Consumers with lower-incomes are more likely to live unhealthily, as low-income has become directly correlated with living an unhealthy lifestyle. When shopping for groceries, consumers with relatively low monthly incomes are substantially more likely to eat unhealthily, and are more likely to be obese. This issue of poverty and unhealthy living stems from the idea of social and physical environments. Why is it that people of low socioeconomic status are more likely to smoke, drink excessively and have high fat diets? The issue surrounding the fact that lower-income consumers have higher mortality rates can be explained through behavioural studies.
The demographic of people who are most affected by unhealthy lifestyles due to lack of wealth is the lower class who can afford their basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing, but can’t afford to live within supportive communities and live fulfilling lives. These behaviours are more costly than the healthier method of avoiding these actions altogether. Individuals with low SES are behaving this way not to save money, but to compensate and cope with realities of poverty, such as a lack of healthy relationships.
This unhealthy behaviour can partly be attributed to individuals and communities providing low levels of “Social Capital(3)”. Social capital is defined as “the number and type of relationships an individual has(3)”, and low SES communities often have low levels of social cohesion. Research has found that