A recent study by Case Western Reserve University researchers shows a link between obesity and cavities among children living in poverty. The study found that as those children age, the risk of obesity increases, as do the number of cavities. The two are related, but not the way one might guess.
“It’s not the obesity causing the cavities or the cavities causing obesity,” said Peg DiMarco, an associate professor of nursing and the author of the study, which examined health data of homeless children in Akron.“Poverty is the underlying cause of both.”
It boils down to lack of access to fresh, healthful foods and to basic dental care.In Columbus, as in other cities, the areas where many people live in poverty “don’t have large grocery stores. They have quick stops,” said Dr. Dennis McTigue, professor of pediatric dentistry at Ohio State University and spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.“Those places tend to sell processed, high-fat and high-carbohydrate food. When accessing healthy food is difficult, families end up eating the high-carb foods that cause obesity and cavities.”
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