Fat or thin, people in poor megacities are beset by disease. Here’s why


HaitiChloera1-20101117cSpeaking of Haiti’s burden of disease, as the medical jargon goes, the Journal of Urban Health offers an interesting take on the health implications of being poor and living in a city in the developing world. (Click here to read an abstract).

Going by that reasoning the life and ill-health of Port au Prince is practically a pre-existing condition because:

–       it too is a victim of the urban sprawl, which makes access to care more difficult

–       it has more motor vehicles than it can handle and inadequate infrastructure, which makes air pollution and traffic accidents more common

–       impoverished urban populations routinely show a propensity toward undernourishment, and its obverse, obesity, is emerging as a major risk

–       the increase in slums makes violence and homicide a more important burden of health

– large hazards are created by fire-prone, insubstantial dwellings.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac