The 2008 Great Recession resulted in changes to individuals’ health behavior, with a significant increase in the likelihood of obesity, diabetes and mental health problems, according to a new study from City, University of London and King’s College London.
In particular, the researchers discovered that the probability of being obese and severely obese increased by 4.1 and 2.4 percentage points respectively. Similarly, the probability of having diabetes was 1.5 percentage points higher after 2008, with the prevalence of mental health problems increasing by 4 percentage points.
It was also found that there was a decrease in smoking and drinking, as well as fruit intake. These changes were also seen to impact particularly on women and those less educated, with the authors suggesting that uncertainty and negative expectations generated by the recession rather than unemployment might explain the changes seen.