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This is largely due to the eating patterns established in poverty; lack of food during childhood has the tendency to increase over-eating when food is available, and instills a strong compulsion to avoid food insecurities in adulthood, leading to unhealthy eating habits (Olson et al. 2007). Such habits obviously cause health deterioration, which limits productivity and creates bigger expenses, and so assists in the intergenerational perpetuation of poverty and the likely creation of similar or related issues in the children of the adult overeaters. This also ties into other social factors of adult life that stem from issues related to childhood poverty.
Employment in adulthood can be heavily affected by poverty in childhood, as noted above. There are several complex and interrelated ways in which this can occur. First, there is a strong indication that childhood poverty creates a pattern of psychological stress that becomes all but inescapable in adulthood (Evans & Kim 2007). The prolonged stress that this can lead to has been linked to many health problems, like any other form of prolonged stress, but the cumulative effects of continued conditions of poverty often exacerbate the problem still further (Evans & Kim 2007). It can even lead to a lack of ability to fully regulate stress, and this leads to many issues in the employment world, including memory issues, the ability to handle work-related stress including deadlines and other common features of modern jobs, which simply leads to more stress and again, reduced productivity (Evans & Schamberg 2009). The problems of childhood poverty easily become self-perpetuating due to the reduced productivity of adults that grew up in poverty.
This is not merely evidenced from a medical and psychological perspective, but by direct economic research as well. Writing in the New York Times, Eckholm (2007) details recent findings that adults who were raised in poverty not only end up less productive, but typically also have higher costs associated with health problems and other issues. Intervention, then, must occur early and must come form an outside source if the cycle is to be broken. It is, of course, unfortunately impractical to think that poverty could simply be alleviated, but there are ways to mitigate the effects of childhood poverty so that they are not as exposed to risks either in childhood or in adulthood, giving greater
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