(Hattip to Frozen Tropics)
The CDC (Center for Disease Control), which I would like to trust for their timely health information has put something out that erodes that trust. Eroded, because Health Effects of Gentrification, is stupid.
I don’t deny that displacement because of neighborhood demographic changes is stressful and stress impacts ones health. According to the CDC:
These special populations are at increased risk for the negative consequences of gentrification. Studies indicate that vulnerable populations typically have shorter life expectancy; higher cancer rates; more birth defects; greater infant mortality; and higher incidence of asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, increasing evidence shows that these populations have an unequal share of residential exposure to hazardous substances such as lead paint.
So is the CDC saying that gentrification, not poverty and poor housing is the cause of shorter life expectancy and asthma? Are all those new middle class residents moving in and fixing up vacant and run down houses polluting the air with lead paint? Is that what the CDC is saying? Because in poor neighborhoods in no danger of gentrification or reinvestment are healthy, lead free, utopias where the Popeye’s serve low fat vitamin rich meals and the corner mart has fresh fruit and lettuces. Oh wait, no. Those poorer neighborhoods in the other part of the District (think outside of NW) aren’t healthier because there is little to no gentrification there.
I see there was nothing for ‘Health Effects of Poverty’ because gentrification is a nice way to distract attention away from chronically poor neighborhoods.
One thought on “CDC comes up with something dumb”
I saw this too, and was equally confused. After (briefly) reading the CDC websites' summary of the findings, I think they're trying to assess the health impacts gentrification creates by *dislodging* economically disadvantaged people from their established neighborhoods and forcing them elsewhere, often the suburbs. So, if i understand correctly, the focus is on the health of those who've been moved on by gentrification, rather than people within the neighborhood. It's a really confusing title though–I imagine someone at the CDC thought it would get more attention if it looked like it was tackling a hot-button issue like gentrification head-on.
– Robert on North Capitol St.
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