BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Sept. 26 (UPI) — A University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher says the ramifications of poverty are far greater than just fiscal or political issues.
David Buys, a postdoctoral fellow in UAB’s Department of Medicine who has researched Alabama’s food insecurity and poverty issues, said the effects of poverty can include stigma and stretch well beyond the obvious. A lack of a sufficient amount of money to live takes a toll on every aspect of life for the 17.3 percent of Alabamians who live in poverty, Buys said.
“The ramifications of poverty stretch into areas of human development and community well-being now and in years to come,” Buys said in a statement. “Desperate times like these in which people are struggling to make house and car payments mean that many families’ typical attention to healthy diets, recreation, physical activity and education may be diverted to working longer hours just to pay basic bills, leaving children without the developmental stimuli that they need to excel now and in the future.”
Lack of healthcare insurance coverage for almost 50 million Americans will take a toll for years to come, Buys said.
“For persons without health insurance who forgo basic healthcare, the likelihood of being able to perform at an optimum level in their family roles, as an employee, or in their community decreases because of health-related inadequacies,” Buys said.