Analysis of Iran Subsidy Plan and Its Influence on Health Nutrition and Food Security as One of the Urban Health Indices in the Tetraploid Regions of Qom Megalopolis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Full Professor of geography and urban planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD candidate in geography and urban planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD candidate in geography and urban planning, University of Esfahan, Invited teacher in Department of geography and urban planning, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Extended abstract
Recent changes and challenges in the field of urban health are considered greatly in world. Wide changes have been made in public health during the last century. One of the most important examples of public health such as nutrition is people's attention to the role and function of government policies. The past rulers of different countries had done actions according to their micro and macro targets.  One of the most important examples, especially in the developing countries that suffered from economic failure, is policy issue and the subsidy. Subsidy is the wish of all those who care about the health and welfare of the community, especially the vulnerable people. The law as a progressive design with a supreme goal can change the economic conditions, if it is implemented accurately and efficiently. In countries such as Iran where high levels of subsidy consumption and services are relying on oil income, to improve public welfare and gain political legitimacy and acceptability will be dependent on political issue and followed certain geographic and distribution system. This research has examined the effects of health indicators and explained nutrition and food security. The research necessity is due to attention and also researchers’ advice to priority of ideal health policies in urban investment. Ecology studies of comparative pathology address  association among mental - social and physical illness and types of pollution, population density, housing units, economic status, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, non-standard housing units and unhealthy living conditions. Certainly, all of these cases have direct, indirect and undeniable relationship with government policies such as subsidies. Hence, in geography–health as a major branche of geography in study of public health; it is obvious that if a community is unaware of the matter, a vacuum is created in the public health. Therefore, it will be suitable to have extensive studies, planning, and investment by focusing on what affecting citizen’s health such as nutrition.
The research has been done in Qom city during winter 2012. This is an analytical-descriptive research and data collection was based on field and library studies. We distributed 380 questionnaires among people (head of household) in each district based on Cochrane sampling. The questionnaires were designed and distributed among the population in three general characteristics (ethnicity, education, occupation, income and economic situation, the number of children and etc.) to satisfy the positive or negative impacts on the subsidies plan and its feedback on urban health (healthy nutrition and food security like meat, fruit vegetables and dairy products). Interview is one of the most important tools for analyzing public opinion regarding the implementation of subsidy and its effects on community health. With awareness of the issue of subsidy in the past years and its social and economic status, the researchers deal with the issue in Qom. The main objective of the research is study of impacts of the influence of social –economic processes on individuals and urban health.
Results and discussion
The research findings about the effects of subsidy on nutrition and food security as health indicators indicate meditative and disturbing results in 4 areas of Qom. Thus, the questionnaires and interviews which had been done by a 16 number group show that food availability and security in districts 2 and 3are not appropriate. In most cases, especially in districts 2 and 3, populations are immigrants. These conditions are completely affected by factors like education and the income of the head of household. This will eventually lead to poor quality in life such as a healthy nutrition and food security. These cases are in much better situation in districts 1 and 4. Besides the factors such as income, education and occupation of the head of households may affect quality of life for family members. Main goal of this research is evaluation of the impacts of subsidy on urban health and access of Qom citizens to healthy nutrition and food security. Many of the citizens are fully agreed with the reasons of subsidy. is the reasons are including a support for low income people and increase in their purchasing power, their enjoyment of national interests, reform in manufacturing structure and economic and ultimately establishment of social justice for the poor. More than 70 percent of citizens believe that after subsidy implementation their occupation condition is decreased and it had disproportionate impact on their lives. It is more being felt in district 2 of Qom where the heads of households are mainly workers. About 70 percent of populations believe that their income decrease due to the high inflation in these years and in many cases they fail to reserve money and spend their living. Therefore, more than 70 percent of populations are disagreed with continuation of subsidy and they believe that their life became more difficult after subsidy implication. Study about the consumption of meat, milk, fruits and vegetables among the 4 regions are the main steps of research. It shows that except district 4 all other areas are in an inappropriate situation.
One of the programs that have overshadowed people life for years is subsidy which its purpose is creation and establishment of the social justice for all classes. Analysis of the results show that a large number of populations are not satisfied with subsidy goal and its implications. In general, from 4 regions of Qom, districts 1 and 2 are in better life quality and more satisfied. In spite of all ideal sand insights that a lot of researchers, economists, politicians, and ordinary people are agreed; the studied issue has influenced people lives. Finally, besides its positive aspects, the most important principles in creation of a vibrant and healthy life are faced with many problems. One of the objective examples in research results is the rising trend of abortion, dead or defective new born or the problems of fertility may threaten population health in the future. With many problems such as inflation, unemployment and the sanctions; problems such as healthy nutrition and food security should not be ignored simply.


Main Subjects

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Volume 47, Issue 3 - Serial Number 3
October 2015
Pages 507-527
  • Receive Date: 28 September 2013
  • Revise Date: 09 June 2014
  • Accept Date: 09 June 2014
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2015