High inflation and cost of living taking a toll on health of many Americans, according to survey
Half of Americans are now saying that runaway inflation and high cost of living are taking a toll on their health
. Millions are turning to drinking, eating junk food and smoking as worries over electricity and gas bills continue to mount.
Consumer insights firm Toluna found that 50 percent of those surveyed felt their health suffered as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, with inflation currently running above eight percent.
Among this number, 37 percent said they were feeling more stressed, 21 percent said they were eating less healthily, 16 percent said they were smoking more and 13 percent said they were drinking more often.
In the survey of 1,000 participants, inflation, crime and immigration are at the front of the voters' minds ahead of the November 8 midterm elections, which will decide whether Republicans or Democrats will control Congress.
projected that the U.S. economy was 100 percent likely to plunge
into a recession within the next year, while economists had previously estimated a 60 percent likelihood.
Matt Booth, a researcher on the survey, said the impact is starting to show as the U.S. moves further into the cost-of-living crisis. "It's affecting everything from our personal health, to how we plan our grocery shopping, and where we're cutting back to save money."
Nearly three-quarters of Americans said they were worried about the rising costs of electricity and gas as consumers faced steep price increases in heating oil, propane and other fuels for the coming cold months.
Moreover, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said the energy crisis and the rising cost of living were already affecting their spending plans.
Large numbers of respondents also said they would cut back on eating out and ordering takeouts or would resort to buying cheaper items.
Qualtrics, a software technology company, surveyed over 1,000 full-time employees and found that 38 percent of workers have already looked for a second job
, while another 14 percent are planning to do so. Qualtrics Chief Workplace Psychologist Dr. Benjamin Granger said that with budgets tightening, workers are searching for ways to meet the rising cost of living.
Working parents are significantly affected, as nearly 70 percent said that their salaries are not keeping up with costs. Around 47 percent of employees with children have already looked for a second job, especially considering that the price of raising a child through high school has surged to over $300,000, up roughly $26,000 from two years ago.
Cost of heating a home projected to increase by 27 percent this winter
The cost of heating a home with oil is projected to jump by 27 percent to $2,354 this winter, with propane and natural gas users expected to get hit as well.
Heating oil suppliers in the Northeast and New England have begun rationing the fuel after stockpile dropped to a third of their normal levels.
Other concerns also include supply shortages and soaring prices, which will leave families in the cold, especially in the New England area.
Business research group Conference Board noted that U.S. consumer confidence ebbed this month as concerns about inflation took hold after receding in recent months. (Related: INFLATION BOMB: American household spending over $700 MORE per month due to inflation
The board's consumer confidence index fell to 102.5 in October from 107.8 in September. Consumers have also grown confident in the two previous months as the gas prices moderated slightly despite other costs staying high.
A survey from this month also found that while inflation is a national problem, it is being felt most acutely in some areas like Phoenix, Arizona.
The sprawling metropolitan area, which includes Mesa and Scottsdale, is said to feel the impact of rising prices more acutely than anywhere else in the U.S., according to the personal finance website, WalletHub
One of the fastest-growing areas in the country, Phoenix suffers higher rates of inflation because food and gas supplies as well as housing can't keep up. Moreover, a shortage of workers is also driving up wages, making matters even worse.
Other cities experiencing above-average hikes in prices of groceries, gas, rents and others as tracked by the federal government's Consumer Price Index include Atlanta, Miami, Tampa and Baltimore.
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