Good news: a recent study by Toronto's Centre for Research on Inner-City Health finds that the majority of Ontario residents correctly believe that poverty is a major contributor to ill health.
This is encouraging, since from here, it should be possible to turn that understanding into calls for action to eliminate poverty, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of all.
The study finds that Ontario residents:
- Believe the social determinants of health are key drivers of poor health. 84% agree that ‘if you work in a poorly paying job, the insecurity you feel can have a bad effect on your health.’ 74% agree that ‘the rich are healthier because they have better access to high quality food.’
- Do not believe that health problems are largely due to personal behaviours. For example, 60% – 63% do not believe health inequalities can be attributed to ‘unhealthy coping behaviour’ or ‘unwise spending.’
- Believe that the privilege of people living on high incomes plays an important role in generating health inequalities. For example, 55% agree that the ‘rich get more out of the health system than the poor’ and 84% agree that ‘the rich have more choices and control over their lives and health than the poor.
Read a summary and link to the full report here.