Richard Florida on the Geography of Health

Richard Florida examines the "Geography of Health" in American and why some cities are healthier than others.

Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander at the Martin Prosperity Institute find a number of correlations between geography and health:

"The kinds of work people do also plays a role in smoking and obesity levels. Metros with higher percentages of creative class workers do consistently better on the Metro Health Index (the correlation is .38), while metros with higher shares of blue-collar workers do significantly worse (a correlation of -.43). Metros with greater shares of high-tech industry also have higher scores on the Metro Health Index (with a correlation of.46)."

Full Story: Why Some Cities Are Healthier Than Others

Comments

Comments

More on Charts as Indicators

Superficially, these charts are more compelling because their slopes are steeper and (one presumes) R^2s higher.

However, more compelling is the amount of extra time you have to exercise. Plantinga and Bernell went over this ground already and found less superficial and more actionable reasons for obesity. Larry Frank has actionable ideas on this too.

Best,

D

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

The Demography of Health

I got lost with the dots.....
But this observation for me, was key:
"First of all, the Metro Health Index is closely associated with income. Higher income metros have substantially lower levels of smoking and obesity, while poorer metros are plagued with considerably higher levels of both. The correlation between income and the Metro Health Index is considerable ....."

In fact, this observation has been confirmed recently in the Bay Area with physical fitness tests for the most important segment of our population - the children.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Inequality and Health

There is research that shows that poor American children have health disadvantages at birth that reduce their chances of succeeding in life. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/born-to-lose-health-inequal...

Thus, the fact that America has greater inequality and more poverty than other industrial nations must be one reason why we spend much more on health care but have worse health than other industrial nations. There was an opinion piece in the NY Times making this point, but I can't find it now; if anyone can post a link, I would appreciate it.

Charles Siegel

Place and Health

IIRC Larry Frank brings the 'inequality' and 'wealth' arguments out in some of his place-based walkability work. There has also been work with the health outcomes and health in the environmental health field - they are quite aware of place, health, and income. This is also tangentially related to the story here recently on the woman mid-block crossing and her kid hit by a car. All related.

Best,

D

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