Location, location, location: the intersection of zip code and health

Where you live has an impact on your habits-and your health.

Where you live has an impact on your habits-and your health.

This article from the NYT  linking income and smoking underscores the health disparities that exist based on where you live. According to a new analysis of federal smoking data, smoking—which is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US—is increasingly a habit of the poor and working class.

Smoking rates have declined in affluent neighborhoods, but remain high in impoverished areas — which is scary when viewed through the lens of disease prevention.

Zip codes matter to your health in lots of ways beyond smoking. Access to healthy foods, safe playing areas, green spaces, level of education—they all contribute to the health of a community. The good news is that this issue is now getting attention, and that communities are trying to do something about it.

Because of our commitment to building healthy communities across the US, we’re doing some cool things. We announced a new grant that joins GSK with a team of nonprofits in three underserved Denver communities. Take a look at what is happening in Denver to help improve the health of kids through increasing activity and healthy eating.

There’s no magic to this. Just commitment—from all of us.