The Zip Code Lottery For Obesity And Overall Health
Does location really affect physical and cognitive health?
Studies have shown that adolescent boys and girls’ health varies dependent on location when they are growing up.
Teens that are living in disadvantaged neighborhoods are far more susceptible to obesity and reduced cognitive abilities. It seems that girls are most likely to become obese than their male counterparts.
The same studies have shown that these cognitive and physical impairments are fostered as they grown from children in to adolescents. What appears to be part of the problem is the very immediate surroundings including home life, institutions, peer groups and they physical landscape around them.
Problems such as a lack of role models due to a lack of jobs and opportunities can create a warped view and understanding of mainstream society values and norms which can be taken for granted by teens growing up in more affluent communities. This can have a negative effect on adolescent ambitions and development.
Having services such as libraries, parks, differing food outlets and other social influences can create a structure for cognitive and physical growth.
It also seems that the cognitive and physical decline only becomes apparent when the child reaches adolescence. When a child is exposed to the disadvantages of their community and surroundings at an early age it seems to have little effect until they start to get older.