General health of the nation

  1. I have been wondering this for some time. Hopefully, some of you could shed some light on this.

    Is the overall health of the nation worsening?

    I have friends who are school teachers and they agree that the overall intelligence in students has dropped considerably in the past twenty years.

    Is this the same for health?
    If so, any ideas why?

    Thank you,
    Brian
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   LasVegasRN
    Of course! Particularly for the USA, we have an epidemic of obesity propagated by sedentary jobs and lifestyles.
  4. by   MarnnaRN
    laziness
  5. by   Q.
    Originally posted by LasVegasRN
    Of course! Particularly for the USA, we have an epidemic of obesity propagated by sedentary jobs and lifestyles.
    Exactly.
    We also have a high rate of teen pregnancies; though I understand the rate has decreased, but it is still high. As a result we have unhealthy, preterm babies.

    We still smoke, eat fast food, and then sue the tobacco companies and McDonald's for it. We can't even accept responsiblities for our own choices, let alone our health!
  6. by   Sally_ICURN
    I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the population is getting older and with age comes health problems.

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0780132.html

    The United States saw a rapid growth in its elderly population during the 20th century. The number of Americans aged 65 and older climbed above 34.9 million in 2000, compared with 3.1 million in 1900. For the same years, the ratio of elderly Americans to the total population jumped from one in 25 to one in eight. The trend is guaranteed to continue in the coming century as the baby-boom generation grows older. Between 1990 and 2020, the population aged 65 to 74 is projected to grow 74%.
    One of the biggest reasons our healthcare system needs a major overhaul!
  7. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by the taoist
    I have friends who are school teachers and they agree that the overall intelligence in students has dropped considerably in the past twenty years.
    And I think this is, in part, for lack of school funding and lowered expectations of our school aged kids. In my area, advanced classes in high school (AP) for students who excel are so scarce that they have to go to junior colleges just to take a calculus class!!!
  8. by   Tweety
    What Vegas said, as well as the fact we are living longer and seeing more chronic diseases. Many of these are wihtin our control.

    Our planet is also sick. Environmentally we are polluting our planet and thus ourselves.

    I'd have to see some documentation before I agree that the general intelligence of the population lowering. I'm not around enough kids to know the difference.

    That could just be generational prejudice. Every generations says "kids these days......when I was young....." But if the next generation is less intelligent, then it's this generations fault.
  9. by   the taoist
    I have a few theories on this. Any additional insight would be appreciated.

    It's turned into a vicious cycle, ultimately.
    In the 1930's there was a senate hearing on the poor crop yield at that time. The reports (I'll be brief on this) pointed out a few problems, one of which was the de-mineralization of the soil. Chemistry was in the beginnings of its heyday, so the industrial chemists developed chemical fertilizer. They concluded that all a plant needed to grow was a few nutrients (nitrogen, phosporus, for example). These chemical fertilizers (with a few modifications) are what is still being used to this day. The other minerals (the ones that we need in trace amounts) were completely left out. The plants are able to grow, yet are lacking a great deal. Back then, we didn't realize all that the human body needs in small amounts to keep things in balance. Most people in this country don't realize that they are malnurished on a chemical level. When people aren't getting all that they need, the body responds by "craving." The problem is that we don't know what our bodies need. So we reach for what's convenient. It isn't fulfilling us, so we over-eat as a consequence. Hence, obesity.

    The medical profession doesn't help either when they say that a normal balanced meal contains all of the nutrients needed. From what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong), but doctors take little, if any, nutrition classes in med school.

    The problem is worse with our children, because they are trying to learn, yet lack the proper nutrients. And when the parents are clueless, they give the children what they eat which is garbage. So as a consequence, kids can't concentrate and act out. Parents take them to "experts" who then (usually with no blood test) put them on ridalin, prozac, buspar, etc. (Don't get me started on psychiatry)

    Compounding the problem is popular culture and advertising. Turn on the idiot box, I mean TV and every other add is for an unhealthy food. Big macs and pizza are thrust at you. This reinforces poor diets. (Nothing healthy is ever advertised, only garbage you most likely don't naturally need. Ever see an ad for spinach?)

    And when at last the human body is stressed and finally breaks, the person in it runs to a hospital and demands that we all "fix" them.

    Don't mean to get on a soap box. I am only learning about nursing now, but I see the path ahead and understand the frustration that I will be confronted with.

    Anything to add?

    Brian
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy
    What Vegas said, as well as the fact we are living longer and seeing more chronic diseases. Many of these are wihtin our control.

    Our planet is also sick. Environmentally we are polluting our planet and thus ourselves.

    I'd have to see some documentation before I agree that the general intelligence of the population lowering. I'm not around enough kids to know the difference.

    That could just be generational prejudice. Every generations says "kids these days......when I was young....." But if the next generation is less intelligent, then it's this generations fault.
    My kids are smarter than me.
    They deserve credit for their education, I should get some credit for the PTA and encouragement, and nutrition. They just got lucky with their genetic combination though.
  11. by   SandyB
    mmmm, I don't mean this serious so no flames, please.
    My hubby and I blame the "space" earth is traveling through....

    Cuz yes, from my point of view, health and intelligence are suffering. Even in younger people...at least here where I live it looks worse than when I was young. JMHO
  12. by   the taoist
    I understand that these are generalities. Your kids are all brilliant.

    I am just going on what friends say, who are teachers. They strongly feel that children today are less sharp and have more behavioral problems, overall. They have seen a very noticable decline.

    Brian
  13. by   litepath
    Our planet is also sick. Environmentally we are polluting our planet and thus ourselves

    Yeah, lazines might be a symptom of many causes but one things for sure we're poisoning ourselves and our children. I recently got the partially hydrogenated foods out of the house, and also started driving 45 miles (one way) to get organic foodstuffs.
    Ever try and get yer regular shoppin done without partially hydrogenated ingredients?
  14. by   TheBrainMusher
    Disagreeing on the statement of education/intelligence. Universities are getting MORE competitive, check the stats. I have to disagree, I think childern ARE overall more intelligent ... but there are general disparities in particular areas (urban, obviously!). My Mother is a teacher in a lowerclass area, and I think some childern struggle especially emotionally with all the different factors, but alot of themfind their light ... just need support.


    HEalth factor, we are so unhealthy. Striving to be thin, or not caring and binging ... will there ever be a medium?

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