Health Gap Between Rich and Poor Children a National Scandal

Responding to today’s report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) that found poverty and inequality is blighting children’s lives, with those from the most deprived backgrounds experiencing much worse health compared with the most affluent, Dr. Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust, said:

“We are one of the richest nations on earth and yet we are failing our poorest, most vulnerable children. The huge gap that has emerged between the health of children from affluent families and those from poorer backgrounds is lost years of life, lost skills and lost potential.

“We are effectively condemning children from disadvantaged backgrounds to lives blighted by ill health and poverty. We know that health inequality is strongly linked to economic inequality, and the social gradient in health has been known for years, with those from affluent backgrounds enjoying greater health than those from poorer backgrounds.

“However, this should worry us all, as evidence shows that in more economically unequal countries like the UK, everyone, including the rich, suffers from poorer physical and mental health. If we want to close the health gap, and build a healthy future for all children, we need to reduce inequality in wealth and income.”

Notes to editors

The Equality Trust is a registered charity that works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality. UK income inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence shows that this results in poorer mental and physical health, higher violent crime, poorer educational outcomes and lower levels of trust. Inequality affects us all.

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