Health and nutrition drivers in urban areas

Helpdesk Query:

What are the main drivers of health and nutritional status for poor people in urban areas (the ‘urban poor’) in low and lower middle income countries? What role do a) working conditions b) diet and lifestyle c) living conditions (including air pollution) d) access to WaSH e) access to health information and services and f) other issues play in the health status of the poor? What evidence is there of effective interventions (including urban planning and other interventions beyond the health sector) to improve the health status of the urban poor in these countries?




On average, urban health levels are better than those in rural areas. However, averages can be misleading: once the data are disaggregated, it is clear that the urban poor face health risks often as high as and sometimes worse than those of rural residents, despite the proximity of modern health services (UNFPA, 2012).

This report investigates the role of working conditions, diet and lifestyle, living conditions, access to WaSH, access to and quality of health services and other factors on the health status of the urban poor. Some interventions were also identified. However, there was not scope within this report to fully investigate evidence on interventions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *