Low-income families typically have limited access to health care, healthy food and exercise options. As a result, low-income adults and children experience disproportionate incidences of poor health. This paper examines previously published research that suggests that boosting low-income families’ annual earnings through policy such as the Earned Income Tax Credit can foster positive health outcomes for all members of a low-income family. Specifically, our research shows:
- Poverty is a major indicator of health status.
- Income and health status are positively related.
- Low annual income can lead to high stress and poor health among adults.
- Prenatal and childhood poverty can lead to low birth weights and other health problems throughout a lifetime.
- An increase in income will generally have the most pronounced health effect among low-income families.