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HomeVideoSocial Status & Your Health: A Conversation

Social Status & Your Health: A Conversation

Continuing the conversation from last week’s video “Can Your Social Status Make You Sick?” Above the Noise hosts Myles Bess and Shirin Ghaffary respond to viewer questions and comments.

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ABOVE THE NOISE is a show that cuts through the hype and takes a deeper look at the science behind controversial and trending topics in the news. Hosted by Myles Bess and Shirin Ghaffary.


Financial inequality has been in the news A LOT recently. It was the rallying cry for the Occupy Wall Street movement that began back in 2011, and it was at the center of Bernie Sanders’ campaign when he ran for president.

This inequality creates what is typically called a social status ladder, with rich people at the top and poorer people toward the bottom. Research shows that your position on the ladder is actually one of the most powerful predictors of health.

But it’s so much MORE than just how much money you have or how fancy your education is. It’s how you FEEL you compare to other people — your subjective social status.

Myles and Shirin recap the research on this topic, and respond to questions and comments from our viewers. Plus, Shirin shares some other research that didn’t make it into the original video.


Child Socioeconomic Status, Telomere Length, and Susceptibility to Upper Respiratory Infection Study

Allianz Global Wealth Report 2015

Whitehall Study in the British Medical Journal
Subjective Social Status and Adolescent Health: The Role of Stress and Sleep
Status Syndrome: A Challenge to Medicine

Social Status Alters Immune Regulation And Response To Infection In Macaques

To join the conversation, visit KQED Learning’s blog for students called Do Now:

Sketchy Open-Access Science Journals as determined through an investigation:…
Understanding Science: Untangling Media Messages and Public Policies…
HealthNewsReview: Tips for Analyzing Studies, Medical Evidence and Health Care Claims…
Greater Good: 10 Questions to ask about Scientific Studies:…
Forbes: 10 questions to distinguish real from fake science:…
Analyzing Science Media:…

Check out some of our other videos:
Can social status affect your health?

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About KQED
KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media.

Funding for Above the Noise is provided in part by S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, David Bulfer and Kelly Pope, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, The Koret Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Smart Family Foundation, The Vadasz Family Foundation and the members of KQED.