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Health linked to housing

Housing tenure, body mass index and health in Australia have been linked by researchers Bruce Tranter and Dr Jed Donoghue through ‘a national survey of Australian adults [which] shows higher levels of obesity among public housing tenants and home owners with a mortgage, compared to outright home owners’.

While the results are ‘to an extent due to higher instances of illness and disability among public housing tenants, and are also associated with known health risk factors, differences in body mass index between tenures persist after controlling for a range of risk factors and socio-demographic indicators, suggesting the presence of cultural differences and different consumption patterns’. The research shows public tenants are by far the most likely to smoke on a daily basis [a stress indicator], with private renters and home owners with a mortgage also more likely to be smokers than are outright home owners, leading the researchers to suggest that ‘pursuing the “Australian dream” of home-ownership may contain a hidden cost to one’s health’.
Click here for the research