The Effect of Income on Individuals’ Health


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In the last recent decades, there has been a growing number of studies have investigateding the effect of income on individuals’ health, and ; meanwhile, policymakers all over the world are increasingly concerned about the relationship between low-income and health and low-incomeworldwide. In developed countries, it has been well documented that the overall health risk behaviors is are more prevalent for low-income individuals than forcompared with other socioeconomic groups (see Lantz et al., 1998); . It is claimed that income generally has a positive correlation association with “good” health-related behaviors (Benzeval, Taylor, & Judge, 2000; Binkley, 2010; Jolliffe, 2011).

Lower-income Individuals individuals with lower income tend to make less healthy consumption choices. As a Consequentlyce, they are more likely to suffer from nutrition-related health problems such as overweight and obesity (Ball & Crawford, 2005; Sobal & Stunkard, 1989). From an economic perspective, the budget constraint plays important role in determining poor food consumption behaviors among low-income individuals (see Binkley, 2010).the budget constraint is an important determinant of poor food consumption behaviors among low-income individuals (see Binkley, 2010). Especially iIn the nutrition -related literature, notably, , many researchers argue that low-income individuals people cannot afford to purchase healthy foods, since as healthy foods is are comparatively expensive (Drewnowski & Darmon, 2005; Drewnowski & Eichelsdoerfer, 2010).

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Notwithstanding, Stewart et al. (2003) findindicate that with additional income low-income households would not purchase more vegetables and fruits and vegetables with additional income;; furthermore,even through a numbermost of vegetables and fruits are actually not unreasonably priced (Kuchler & Stewart, 2008). This evidence implies suggests that income as a role of a the budget constraint mightmay not be the most crucial factor reason in explaining interpreting differences in unhealthy food consumption or health outcomes among individuals with situated at different income levels in developed countries. Using Based upon a life-course utility model, Binkley (2010) puts forward another hypothesis: Low-income individuals people have a comparatively higher direct utility from present consumption and but a less intense desire for longevity in the future utility; thereforethus, they are more likelyhave a higher likelihood to have poorconsume unhealthy food or having poor consumption behaviors. However, the opposite is true for developing countries. For instance, a number of studiesbody of literature shows that overweight is relatively more widespread among high-income individuals (Fernald, 2007; C. A. Monteiro, Conde, Lu, & Popkin, 2004; B. M. Popkin, 1999).

With tthe development of the economy and and increasingincreasing incomes, total calorie consumption consumed has been enhanced accordingly (Ogundari & Abdulai, 2013); as a resultconsequently, overweight and obesity have risen and become a major health challenge in many developing countries (B. M. Popkin, 1999; B. Popkin & Ng, 2007). In China, dietary preference has changed dramatically the diet has been shifting away from high-carbohydrate food towards dense high-energy food (Batis et al., 2014; Du, Mroz, Zhai, & Popkin, 2004), which is an important causeincrease the risk of overweight. One recent study by Tafreschi (2015) shows indicates that today approximately 30 % of individuals in China are overweight or obese in contemporary China. In a transitional economy like China, the relationship between the consequences of unhealthy food consumption and income might be a situation in-between developing and developed societies. The effect of income effect on body weight might change from a positive sign to negative with economic development and rising income increase.

However, as far as we know, very few studies have examined there are only a few studies that investigate this transition (Deuchert, Cabus, & Tafreschi, 2014; Hruschka & Brewis, 2013; Pampel, Denney, & Krueger, 2012), and most of them; they use cross-sectional data from various the developing countries and provide reveal substantial evidence for the reversal hypothesis. Tafreschi (2015), using the data from the China Health Nutrition Survey (CHNS), provides further evidence to support the reversal of the income gradient in China, but without taking out consideration of an individuals’ life-course utility into consideration. The Body Mass Index (BMI) as an outcome of food consumption is a complicated health measure, as because it is related to a number of diseases (Jolliffe, 2011); and it can beis often used to determine whether an individual is overweight or obese. According to the National Heart,Lung ,and Blood Institute (1998), being overweight or obese gives rise tomay yield the some potential health consequences, such ase.g. being at increased risk of morbidity from hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, respiratory, problems, and breast, colonprostate, and prostate colon cancers. Furthermore, they are also observed found to be associated with increases in medical costs expenditure (Konnopka, Bödemann, & König, 2011; Mora, Gil, & Sicras-Mainar, 2015).

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