Recent Survey Finds Cost of Living Crisis Hitting American Women’s Health Hard
Women hit by the cost-of-living crisis are having to make difficult spending choices – at the expense of their health.
Almost half (48%) of 1,000 American women aged 25 to 50 polled by the health platform Healthily admitted the cost-of-living crisis was negatively affecting their health, with 8 out of 10 (83%) reporting higher stress levels.
Skipping meals to save money, lying awake worrying about food and fuel bills, delaying medical treatment, dental appointments and even putting off starting or expanding a family, along with emotional eating because of stress and canceling gym memberships, therapy sessions, and even forgoing self-care. These are just some of the many ways the squeeze is affecting women’s health and well-being.
Making health cutbacks
The survey found the squeeze is forcing women across America to make cutbacks to spending on health, with:
- 33% delaying a medical treatment due to reduced pay or missed work opportunities
- 55% are delaying dental care
- 31% are making medications last longer
- 49% of women switching to cheaper own brand medications
- 41% swapping supermarkets to buy cheaper food
- 46% canceling gym memberships
Less self-care for women
As well as cutting back on everyday basics, the cost-of-living crisis has seen many American women economizing on self-care and well-being spending.
- 81% are cutting back on services and activities for self-care
- 70% say they’re economizing on beauty treatments and products
- 46% are swapping longer holidays for shorter mini breaks and almost half (47%) have canceled their holiday entirely
- 45% are reducing spend on vitamins and supplements
Adverse effects in lifestyle include:
- 86% lying awake at night fretting about food costs – 81% worried about rising fuel bills
- 49% skipping meals to cut costs
- 40% had gone to a food bank
- 41% comfort eating due to stress
- 21% said they were also drinking more alcohol
- 17% said they were delaying starting a family because of the financial strain
Professor Maureen Baker, Chief medical officer at Healthily, says the survey results reveal how deeply the cost-of-living crisis is affecting not just spending habits of Americans, but women’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
“Very high numbers of women said these worries about money were leading to higher stress levels, which is concerning because stress can cause mental health and sleep problems, says Professor Baker. “With the American healthcare system in crisis after COVID-19 and the economic strain we’re all under, it’s an especially worrying time for anyone concerned about their health or managing a long-term illness and their caregivers.
“Severe lack ack of sleep can affect blood pressure and heart health as well,” says Professor Baker. The onset of such conditions “Makes it harder to manage a healthy lifestyle, keep a balanced mood, and maintain a healthy weight.
She adds, “Our survey shows that almost half (49%) have skipped meals to save money and it’s clear that skipping meals will have a very direct effect on your health including potential malnutrition and simply not having enough energy to look after yourself and your family. On top of this, with 45% cutting back spending on vitamins and supplements so there’s a danger of women missing out on essentials such as vitamin D, protein, calcium, and iron,” she concludes.
Learn more here. Source: Healthily