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Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and Obesity

Obesity plays a significant role in health and healthcare, with studies showing that obesity increases a person’s chances of chronic disease, including high blood
pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Studies have also shown that African American men and women have the highest rates of obesity among U.S. racial/ethnic groups.

When taking a holistic view of health equity, though, it is important to look at the root causes of an issue, as well as the fruits that are produced. For example, African Americans often have less access to healthy food than their counterparts in other racial/ethnic groups. In particular, neighborhoods that are considered “food deserts,” or areas with little to no healthy food options, are disproportionately likely to have large African American and Hispanic populations.

From a health equity standpoint, therefore, addressing obesity and its health risks requires that we also address issues like food access by providing Black and Hispanic communities with affordable, accessible, and healthy food options. Because advancing health equity is not just a matter of treating the “sickness,” but also treating the underlying factors that produced it.


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Health Equity and Cancer

Health Equity and Cancer

Health equity is defined as everyone getting an equal opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Regarding cancer, health equity means an equal opportunity to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.

History has shown that Black/African American populations are diagnosed at a later stage and have higher death rates than all other racial/ethnic groups for many cancer types.

Studies suggest that certain groups in the United States experience cancer disparities because of the likelihood of obstacles when seeking health care. Advancing health equity would reduce barriers to care to allow all groups to get the necessary access they need.

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Housing Impacts on Maternal Health

Housing Impacts on Maternal Health

Housing plays a significant role in infant and maternal health outcomes. From poor housing conditions that lead to negative environmental exposures, to neighborhood conditions that can be unsafe and lead to stress and unhealthy environments, to even the affordability and instability challenges in trying to stay housed and avoid homelessness, housing plays a significant role in the wellbeing of infants and birthing individuals.

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Housing Impacts on Maternal Health

Housing Instability Has an Inverse Relationship with Mental Illness

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year, Econometrica is highlighting the intersection between minority mental health and housing stability.

Studies have shown that while housing security contributes to better health and economic stability, housing insecurity is often associated with increased stress and anxiety, exposure to environmental hazards, and lack of access to food and other resources. As a result, housing insecurity has been found to increase a person’s risk for many mental health issues, including depression, suicide, and behavioral issues.

There are also significant racial disparities in housing insecurity, with Black, Hispanic, and other minority households more likely to be housing insecure than White households. Many of the States with the highest rates of housing insecurity—including Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and New York—have large minority populations. These disparities have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which housing insecurity has risen more dramatically for minority renters than their White counterparts.

These disparities in housing insecurity likely contribute to disparities in mental health outcomes, as housing insecurity intensifies mental ailments among those who are most impacted. Econometrica welcomes any opportunity to assist HUD and other organizations that are supporting minority mental health through secure housing options.

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