Babies born into poverty are ten times more likely to suffer from Sudden Death Syndrome, and are more likely to be born under-weight than those born into well-off families. These are the results of a study conducted by Professor Nick Spencer from Warwick University.
Spencer conducted the study for the End Child Poverty coalition, which comprises an influential group of children’s charities, church groups, unions and think-tanks.
The key findings show that children born into poverty are vulnerable to a wide range of chronic illnesses, including cerebral palsy and mental disorders. The study also describes how adults born into poverty are 50% more likely to suffer type 2 diabetes, and 25% more likely to suffer chronic heart disease.
Spencer told The Observer that: “Poverty is now one of the greatest dangers faced by our children. If poverty were an infection, we would be in the midst of a full scale epidemic.”
The study shows how alleviating child poverty will inevitably break the cycle of ill health associated with lower incomes. However, although the Government is committed to tackling child poverty, Spencer recommends that an extra £3 billion per year needs to be spent in order to halve child poverty by 2010, the Government’s own target.
This report was published in time for a rally organised by End Child Poverty that will take place on October 4th in Trafalgar Square, London.