[Excerpt] Obesity and diabetes are far more prevalent in low-income New Haven neighborhoods than in their high-income counterparts, according to a newly released report by DataHaven, a local non-profit run by a Yale alumnus.
The report concluded that diabetes is three times more prevalent in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and that New Haven’s obesity problem is worse than the national average. While about one-third of children in the U.S. between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese, nearly one-half of middle school students in New Haven’s public schools did not meet guidelines for healthy weight, according to the DataHaven report.
In addition to obesity, the study found that economically disadvantaged New Haven residents are almost twice as likely to die from diabetes than the city’s high-income residents. DataHaven’s report highlights a statewide trend of increasing obesity. A study conducted in April by the Connecticut Department of Public Health shows that from 2010 to 2011, the incidence of diagnosed diabetes in Connecticut rose by 2 percent and obesity prevalence increased by one and a half percent.
“There is a clear gradient in the prevalence of both obesity and diabetes by socioeconomic class in CT,” William Garrish, director of the Office of Communications in the Connecticut Department of Public Health, said in an email. He added that the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s data shows that adults with household income less than $25,000 have almost twice the rate of diabetes as the general population, and that low-income adults are much more likely to be obese compared to the general population. A 2010 study by the Connecticut Department of Public Health found that 30.4 percent of people earning less than $25,000 were obese, while 16.8 percent of people earning more than $75,000 were obese.