UNNATURAL CAUSES is inequality making us sick? HEALTH EQUITY research topics and resources to learn more
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Image Thumbnail A Place for Healthier Living: Improving Access to Physical Activity and Healthy Foods E-mail to a friend
REPORT from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and PolicyLink, June 2004

There are significant, persistent disparities in the prevalence and consequences of chronic illnesses: disparities of race, ethnicity, and income that are linked not just to nutrition and physical activity directly, but also to the social, economic and community-level conditions in which people live. These conditions largely shape people's capacity to maintain a good diet and a life that includes healthful physical activity. While individual behavior and access to quality health services are key, these disparities will not be eliminated without addressing community conditions. This brief explains the importance of community and neighborhood to the obesity epidemic, and proposes solutions.

Image Thumbnail Comfort Food, For Monkeys E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE, New York Times, May 20, 2008

Research on rhesus monkeys found that subordinant monkeys were more likely than dominant monkeys to overindulge in high-calorie snacks when they were made available, and more likely to "binge" on this food at night. This and other studies with humans provide emperical evidence for what many of us already know from personal experience: we are more likely to eat poorly when we're under stress.

Image Thumbnail Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT by Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group for the LaSalle Bank,  2006

This report looks at the effects of "food deserts" (areas with minimal access to grocery stores) on the health of residents in Chicago's neighborhoods. The study develops an empirical score to quantify the balance of food choice (groceries vs. fast food outlets) available to residents, and compares food access and food balance directly to health outcomes, holding constant education, income, and race. They find that African American communities are especially likely to have poor balance of food choice, and that residents of these "food deserts" suffer noticable health effects.

Image Thumbnail Food Price Inflation Changes How We Shop E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE by Alan Scher Zagier, Associated Press, March 31, 2008

The worst case of food inflation in nearly 20 years has more Americans giving up restaurant meals to eat at home. We're buying fewer luxury food items, eating more leftovers and buying more store brands instead of name-brand items.

Image Thumbnail Healthy food getting more expensive: study E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE from Reuters Health

Describes a new study that shows the price of fruits and vegetables is climbing faster than inflation, while junk food is actually becoming cheaper. Includes price-per-calorie comparison of nutritious vs. "junk" foods.

Image Thumbnail Job Stress Network E-mail to a friend
WEB SITE of the Center for Social Epidemiology

The purpose of this site is to bring together, for public dissemination, information about and related to Job Strain (specifically) and Work Stress (in general).

Image Thumbnail No Vacation Nation (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT by Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt, Center for Economic and Policy Research, May 2007

This report reviews the most recently available data from a range of national and international sources on statutory requirements for paid leave and paid public holidays in 21 rich countries (16 European countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States). In addition to our finding that the United States is the only country in the group that does not require employers to provide paid leave, we also note that almost every other rich country has also established legal rights to paid public holidays over and above paid leave.

Image Thumbnail Peaceful Revolution: The Last Summer (Without a Vacation) E-mail to a friend
EDITORIAL by John de Graaf in the Huffington Post, 2007

De Graaf comments on the findings of a recent ILO report that U.S. workers produce per capita wealth than any other country and are second most productive per hour in the world, yet more people are working longer hours just to make ends meet. After presenting statistics on how badly we compare to European countries on quality of life indicators, he makes the case for a federal mandate of three weeks paid vacation per year.

Image Thumbnail Take Back Your Time E-mail to a friend

Take Back Your Time is a campaign to pass The Minimum Leave Protection, Family Bonding and Personal Well-Being Act of 2007. This amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act would guarantee that anyone who's worked at a job for a year would get three weeks of vacation. On the site, you can download a handbook and other resources for mobilizing around this goal.

Image Thumbnail Why Place Matters: Building a Movement for Healthy Communities (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT by J. Bell and V. Rubin, PolicyLink.org

This report explains the framework of place (economic, social, physical, and service environments) to understand the relationship between community conditions and health, analyzes the connections among all the environmental factors that contribute to a healthy community, and identifies environmental effects on community health.