These are Chapter 15 Notes from the textbook

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CHAPTER 15: INEQUALITY, FAMILY, AND CHILD
HEALTH
Introduction
๎€Inequalities of wealth and income produce unequal life chances โ€“ the
opportunities for material and social rewards
๎€Poverty translates into homelessness, ill health, short life expectancy,
malnutrition, and hunger
๎€Political and social concerns about child poverty led in 1989 to an all-party
resolution in the House of Commons to end child poverty by the year 2000
Inequality and Poverty
๎€An examination of income distribution data shows wide income disparities
among Canadians, as well as the small change in the share of income held by
Canadians in different income categories over time
๎€The average family income in Canada is on the rise, but the richest fifth of the
population has gained the most
๎€In 2003, the share of total after-tax income of the richest 20% of the family units
was 43.7% while for the poorest 20% it was 5%
๎€The number of poor people was nearly 5 million in 2003 and the poverty rate
was almost 16%
๎€Poverty rates have increased amid high unemployment rates, economic
restructuring that has forced job losses and wage cuts, and cutbacks in social
spending
๎€In 2003, 1.2 million children lived in poverty (rate of 16.7%)
๎€Poverty rates are relatively low for two-parent families and quite high for
families with single-parent mothers
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๎€Unemployed persons, people whose participation in the labour force is irregular,
those with low education levels, and those in certain occupations all are at
higher risk of facing poverty
๎€‚These disparities produce an inequality of opportunities and life chances, and
have negative outcomes for individuals in low-income and poor families
๎€ƒThese factors are detrimental to healthy child development and child
well-being
Inequality, Poverty, and Health Status
๎€Social medicine is mainly concerned with the social, economic, and
environmental conditions in society that produce patterns of morbidity and
mortality
๎€Epidemiological data in Canada and elsewhere show a persistent and pervasive
association between socio-economic status and health status
๎€‚Better socio-economic status means better health status
๎€Those with high incomes live longer, healthier, and more disability-free lives on
average than those who are poor
Infant Mortality
๎€Infant mortality is one of the most important indicators of population health of
a country because of its association with both adult mortality and life
expectancy
๎€In 2003, the infant mortality rate for Canada was 5.3
๎€Class, race and regional differences continue to affect child health
๎€‚The infant mortality in the Aboriginal population is almost twice that of the
general population
๎€‚Children of parents in the poorest neighbourhoods have twice the infant
mortality rates of children in the richest neighbourhoods
๎€ƒDisparities in birth outcomes are linked to neighbourhood income
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๎€Those in the lower-income groups experience above-average infant mortality
rates
๎€With respect to infant mortality, Canada does not rank very favourably with
other advanced countries
๎€‚Its standing has declined in recent years
๎€It is apparent that the association between socio-economic status and health
status arises very early in life โ€“ โ€œthe first injusticeโ€ โ€“ and โ€œthis first injusticeโ€ is
followed by an enduring association between socio-economic status and the risk
of death that persists throughout adult life
๎€There are many reasons for variations in infant mortality rates, including low
birth weight, preventable communicable diseases, malnutrition, injuries,
household income, neighbourhood, and the motherโ€™s education
Health at Birth: Birth Outcomes and Birth Weight
๎€The standard definition of low birth weight is less than 2500 grams (5.5 pounds)
at birth
๎€The average weight at birth of a full-term infant is 3400 grams (7.5 pounds)
๎€Low birth weight is a major cause of infant mortality
๎€‚Children who survive face a high risk of other developmental and health-
related problems, such as impaired learning and neurodevelopment, and
loss of sight and hearing
๎€The negative effect of low birth weight extends to adult life and contributes to
differences in mortality
๎€Several factors are associated with low birth weight, including the motherโ€™s age,
health, tobacco and alcohol use during pregnancy, nutrition, and premature
delivery
๎€Almost 6% of all live births in Canada in 1996 resulted in low birth weight
๎€Low-birth-weight children are likely to be born to very young mothers (10-14
years) and to older mothers (45 and older)
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Document Summary

Chapter 15: i nequal i ty, fam ily, and ch i ld. Inequalities of wealth and income produce unequal life chances the opportunities for material and social rewards. Poverty translates into homelessness, ill health, short life expectancy, malnutrition, and hunger. Political and social concerns about child poverty led in 1989 to an all-party resolution in the house of commons to end child poverty by the year 2000. An examination of income distribution data shows wide income disparities among canadians, as well as the small change in the share of income held by. The average family income in canada is on the r ise, but the richest fifth of the population has gained the most. In 2003, the share of total after-tax income of the richest 20% of the family units was 43. 7% while for the poorest 20% it was 5% The number of poor people was nearly 5 million in 2003 and the poverty rate was almost 16%

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