Social Status Plays Role in Brain’s Control of Health

Potentially another factor in why poverty is correlated with obesity and heart disease:

Using functional MRI scans, they found that different brain areas are activated when a person moves up or down in social status or sees people who are socially superior or inferior.

Previous research has shown that social status has a strong effect on health. For example, one study of British civil servants found that the lower a person’s rank, the more likely they were to develop cardiovascular disease and die early. Psychological effects, such as having limited control over one’s life and interactions with others, may be one way that lower social rank compromises health, according to background information in a news release about the study.

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