Panel: Health Disparities Based on Race and Income: The Role of Policy
(Social Equity)

Thursday, November 2, 2017: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Stetson F (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Marina Mileo Gorsuch, University of Minnesota
Panel Chairs:  Marina Mileo Gorsuch, University of Minnesota
Discussants:  Nancy A. Miller, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Draining the (Food) Swamp: Are Food Environments Near Schools Associated with Disparities in Adolescent Diet Quality and Weight Status?
Kristen Cooksey Stowers, Rebecca L. Boehm and Marlene B. Schwartz Schwartz, University of Connecticut

Lifeguards, Fences, and Racial Disparities in Drowning Rates
Yufeng Lai, Marina Mileo Gorsuch, Samuel L Myers and Devan Steward, University of Minnesota

This panel includes four papers that examine the role of policy in reducing health disparities based on race and income. The papers in this panel cover a wide range policy interventions and geographic scope. The first two papers examine the role of neighborhoods on race and ethnic health disparities. These papers describe how the neighborhood a person lives in affects health across many factors, notably access to healthy foods and access to medical care. The third paper moves to a slightly broader level of geography and examines the striking racial disparity in drowning rates, estimating the effect of discrimination in local life guard labor markets and city/county regulations on pool safety. The final paper shifts to a national focus, examining the impact of the National School Lunch Program, a federal policy that made school lunches healthier. The majority of children served by NSLP are from low-income households who experience far higher levels of obesity than children from high-income households.

The papers in this panel cover a range of disciplines, geographic level, and life stage, but all four are tied together by examining how policies can reduce health disparities. The research included in this panel is central to developing effective policies to reduce health disparities based on race and income.

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