Politicians have talked endlessly about the economic devastation wrought by the recent financial crisis, but what about the damage it’s done to our bodies and minds? In The Body Economic ($27.99), pioneering public health researchers David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu mine data from around the globe and throughout history to demonstrate that bad fiscal policy—particularly cuts to social service spending—can have disastrous consequences for human health. While some nations have seen suicide rates, HIV transmissions, alcoholism, and heart disease spike during the Great Recession, not everyone has suffered—or needs to, so long as governments make health and well-being a priority.
Dr. Sanjay Basu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and an epidemiologist at the Prevention Research Center of Stanford University. A former Rhodes Scholar, he lives in San Francisco.
Politicians have talked endlessly about the seismic economic and social impacts of the recent financial crisis, but many continue to ignore its disastrous effects on human healthand have even exacerbated them, by adopting harsh austerity measures and cutting key social programs at a time when constituents need them most.