Unemployed People Have Worse Health Habits Than People With Jobs: Gallup Survey

The unemployment crisis may also be a health crisis.

People who are out of work against their will are more likely to have poor health habits than people working full- or part-time, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The survey measures behavior like smoking, exercising and eating fruits and vegetables. And overall, across all age groups, people who are unemployed score lower on the healthy-habits scale than people drawing a paycheck.

It's not clear what, precisely, the relationship between unemployment and poor health habits might be. But chronic joblessness is known to cause stress, and some researchers have suggested that the misery associated with being out of work can lead people to take up bad habits they wouldn't have otherwise started.

In addition, it's also relatively common for Americans struggling with unemployment to rely more on fast food than other, healthier sources of nutrition.