Overlooking the Obvious

A recent study analyzing possible causes of depression in poor women in New Delhi completely overlooks one looming factor.
By Lisa Gibson | June 08, 2012

I read a report this week that summarized findings of a study linking biomass cook stoves to depression in women living in poverty in New Delhi.

The women who cook with wood, “dungcakes” and other biomass had more symptoms of depression than women in the control group who cook with liquefied petroleum gas. So indoor pollution from biomass cook stoves must be linked to depression, according to the study.

Really? That is the conclusion to draw from this research? I think it sounds far more sensible to assume the women who are cooking with more expensive fuels such as petroleum gas probably have more money than those using found biomass materials, like cow poop. Is it possible, then, that poverty causes depression? I think so.

I’m incredibly confused as to how such an obvious factor could be overlooked. And saddened that it won’t be figured into the plan for helping these women. Instead, they’ve been told to open a window. Solid problem solving….