Letter: Hungry children

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Everyone who is concerned with the public's health will welcome Sir Donald Acheson's forthcoming report. However, narrowing the gap between the health of rich and poor may be more difficult than your report suggests.

There is now increasing evidence that relative poverty - the effects of living in need among the relatively wealthy - may be more important than the actual level of deprivation. This explains why a poor male child born in Harlem, New York, can expect a shorter life than an even poorer child born on the same day in Bangladesh.

Targeting the poor with additional resources may not be enough. If we wish to redistribute health, we must first redistribute wealth. Will Sir Donald's 39 recommendations include higher taxes; and if they do, will they be implemented?


Chief Executive

Association for Public Health

London SW1