The old adage goes “It’s better to be poor and healthy than rich and sick.” What if this was completely false and that being poor or having limited financial resources actually hampered health?
According to studies carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) in various countries across the globe, the poorer people are, the poorer their health. The WHO also points out that, within a same country, the lower an individual’s socio-economic position, the higher their risk of poor health. Quebec is no exception to this trend.
Of course, Quebec society is blessed in many ways, particularly in areas such as education and health care. Nonetheless, the fact remains that there are still inequalities and we can do better. In fact, it is estimated that 19% of the Quebec population lives under the low income threshold. That said, in more disadvantaged areas, we find, among other things, a higher incidence of the following conditions:
- excessive weight or obesity
- growth delays in children
- learning difficulties
- mental health or behavioral difficulties
- respiratory conditions (asthma, infections, etc.)
- heart disease
- sleep disorders
- premature death, and
Studies suggest that exposure to poverty at a young age leads to consequences on health that, in some cases, can last an entire lifetime. Health problems caused by long-term poverty are more significant than those caused by episodes of short-term poverty. Another important point to consider, it that poor health compromises a person’s ability to study and work, often resulting in a vicious cycle that is difficult to stop.
Having to live below the poverty line is not acceptable for anyone. This situation generates significant stress that affects mental and physical health, leading to the development of numerous diseases. As for diet, its effects on health no longer need to be proven. The consequences of dietary deficiencies, especially in young children, are many and serious. Sedentariness, exposure to second-hand smoke and limited access to quality health care are other factors that compromise health.
It’s your move… be generous!
It goes without saying that governments have to make the prevention of poverty a priority. Nonetheless, breaking the cycle of poverty should also be viewed as a social responsibility and everyone should feel concerned by this issue. With this in mind, any small daily gesture counts. If you are fortunate enough to come from a family that is well off, why not raise awareness about this reality for family members, especially your children?
Each year, the Big Media Food Drive (Grande guignolée des médias) sets up in a number of areas across Quebec. This large-scale show of solidarity will take place from November 23 to December 24, at various street corners, so listen for the different designated collection points announced in the media. All of the goods collected (non-perishable goods, money, household items, etc.) will be used to reach out to the less fortunate for the holidays and the start of the new year. In addition to going to the designated collection points, you can also bring your donations to your Jean Coutu pharmacy. More than 300 of our pharmacies participate in this initiative. It is also possible to make a donation by telephone, mail or the Internet.
For additional information, visit: www.lagrandeguignoleedesmedias.com.
As Christmas draws near, let’s show our generosity, because the only thing anyone should be concerned about during this blessed time of year is spending it with those they love!