US Residents are less healthy than English counterparts - page 2

From JAMA (Emphasis added) Results The US population in late middle age is less healthy than the equivalent British population for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, myocardial infarction,... Read More

  1. by   indigo girl
    Quote from earle58
    Another major factor is our societal aspirations for strategically marketed ;motivators' in our quest for time/stress reduction, in our professional and personal lives.
    Combine the aforementioned w/the everything-at-the-press-of-a-button mentality = a nation that is mentally and physically apathetic, as well as ridiculously high stress levels. We're so accustomed to expecting alot w/minimal effort.
    And rather than reduce our stressors through the therapeutic endeavors of exercise, meditation, healthy diet, etc., our tendencies focus on quick, easy meals and couch potato relaxation.
    Even exercise equipment is geared at covering the most muscle groups in 5 minutes a day!
    We are a nation that expects immediate gratification.
    And so, this news re: the state of our physical health, shouldn't be any surprise.
    I believe Tweety referred to it as a "no-brainer". And rightfully so.

    Leslie
    That is so very true.
  2. by   Multicollinearity
    I don't think diet, lack of exercise, and lack of care are the only significant factors here. What about all the chemicals and toxins that we have in the US - that the European countries do not allow? They have stronger consumer protection regarding chemicals. The US is just sold out to the highest bidder.

    I can think of two examples. Pthalates are chemicals that are added to plastic to make it soft and pliable. Pthalates are illegal in some of the European countries. Perfectly legal in the US. Considered by many toxicologists to be a carcinogen. Another example is Triclosan. You know, it is in so many of our antibacterial gels, lotions, and wipes. Most European countries consider Triclosan to be carcinogen and endocrine disrupter and do not permit it to be used in their countries. These are only two chemicals that I can think of off the top of my head. There are probably hundreds of chemicals that aren't allowed in other countries with better overall health. I think we are in a toxic soup in the United States.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Aug 12, '06
  3. by   RGN1
    Not to mention the growth hormones allowed in your beef & dairy cattle - which are totally linked to increased prostate cancer & probably other things at that.

    I only eat organic beef /dairy products when in the USA (infact I only jhave organic dairy here too ebcause we use too many antibiotics in our production)
  4. by   indigo girl
    Yes, all those additives that the food industry uses. That's why trying to eat whole foods, and eating organic is a good idea. Grow your own veggies if you can, at least you know where it came from.

    There is also a big problem with having to deal with these large multinational corporations for our food and water supplies. Additionally, they are successfully manipulating government regulations supposedly to protect the public interest
    with regards to our access to vitamins, herbals and other supplements. It's a power grab which they will probably win, and we may no longer have access to many helpful things.

    We should also address the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in our protein products. Can't do that now, as I'm off to Maine for the day. Have a good Saturday, everybody!
    Last edit by indigo girl on Aug 12, '06
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I don't think diet, lack of exercise, and lack of care are the only significant factors here. What about all the chemicals and toxins that we have in the US - that the European countries do not allow? They have stronger consumer protection regarding chemicals. The US is just sold out to the highest bidder.

    I can think of two examples. Pthalates are chemicals that are added to plastic to make it soft and pliable. Pthalates are illegal in some of the European countries. Perfectly legal in the US. Considered by many toxicologists to be a carcinogen. Another example is Triclosan. You know, it is in so many of our antibacterial gels, lotions, and wipes. Most European countries consider Triclosan to be carcinogen and endocrine disrupter and do not permit it to be used in their countries. These are only two chemicals that I can think of off the top of my head. There are probably hundreds of chemicals that aren't allowed in other countries with better overall health. I think we are in a toxic soup in the United States.

    That's a good point.

    I don't think the British necessarily eat better and exercise more. Although they may eat less total calories.

    It's probably a combination of things for them, including equality in health care. But the environmental factors should definately be a consideration.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from gwenith
    Don't knock a national health care system until you have lived with one. Our system is not perfect BUT it does have singular advantages. One is that when the goverment is paying for things they then get REAL interested in keeping people healthy in the first place.

    This has given rise here to ad campaigns such as "slip slop slap" to reduce skin cancer rates, "life be in it" to encourage more physical activity and so on.

    Here if you are diagnosed as diabetic you get your Glucometer and strips at vastly reduced cost to encourage better compliance and monitoring to reduce long term poor outcomes.

    Do you want me to continue?
    Yes. Please tell us more.
  7. by   PeachPie
    Another hidden factor that contributes to the lower obesity rates in Europe is that so many people smoke heavily. This isn't necessarily healthier, but it does keep the weight down.
    Last edit by PeachPie on Aug 12, '06
  8. by   Multicollinearity
    I have Canadian relatives that come to the US every winter for a few months. One brings her own flour for cooking. I asked her why and she just makes an adorable motion of spitting in the air saying "Puh...pthu...eew...American flour is junk...tastes bad." She is older and French Canadian. She's right though. Her baked goods with her Canadian flour tastes much better than when she has to use American flour. I don't know if American flour is stripped of nutrients, or if it's the chemicals, or both? Anyway, a little travel can teach us that American food quite frequently doesn't resemble actual food. I would have never known this without foreign relatives or travel.
  9. by   Tweety
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I have Canadian relatives that come to the US every winter for a few months. One brings her own flour for cooking. I asked her why and she just makes an adorable motion of spitting in the air saying "Puh...pthu...eew...American flour is junk...tastes bad." She is older and French Canadian. She's right though. Her baked goods with her Canadian flour tastes much better than when she has to use American flour. I don't know if American flour is stripped of nutrients, or if it's the chemicals, or both? Anyway, a little travel can teach us that American food quite frequently doesn't resemble actual food. I would have never known this without foreign relatives or travel.

    American flour is stripped of all nutrients. If the government didn't mandate that certain products like bread, cereal and pasta be fortified,Americans would suffer from malnourishment.
    Last edit by Tweety on Aug 12, '06
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from gwenith
    Don't knock a national health care system until you have lived with one. Our system is not perfect BUT it does have singular advantages. One is that when the goverment is paying for things they then get REAL interested in keeping people healthy in the first place.

    This has given rise here to ad campaigns such as "slip slop slap" to reduce skin cancer rates, "life be in it" to encourage more physical activity and so on.

    Here if you are diagnosed as diabetic you get your Glucometer and strips at vastly reduced cost to encourage better compliance and monitoring to reduce long term poor outcomes.

    Do you want me to continue?
    Gwenith, I think the Austrialian system is superior in many ways. (Also your retirement system).

    However, it's not all gloom and doom stateside. American Public Health Departments, the CDC, etc. have thousands and thousands of programs such as the one you describe "slip slop slap", physical fitness on and on and on. In my Community Health class I learned of so many programs in our health system I was blown away. We're hopefully in a pardigm shift towards more prevention, and trust me the programs are out there. We've done a very good job with educating the public about skin cancer, strokes, etc etc. We're still not good with prevention, but hopefully we're moving in that direction, but it's slooooooooooow.

    We also spend a lot of money on our sick. For instance renal failure patients are fast tracked to medicare guaranteed dialysis and full-health care benefits for life. A cancer diagnosis pretty much gets you benefits as well.

    Americans have won many Nobel Prizes in Medicine

    We can go tit for tat all day on the comparisons, pros and cons of health care delivery systems.

    Shall I continue?

    Personally, I'm for socialized medicine, equal access for all of us and insurance companies be damned. But I won't go there. I've done that in other threads.
    Last edit by Tweety on Aug 12, '06
  11. by   Multicollinearity
    Here is a good website where you can look up common personal products and their health risks.

    http://www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep/?key=nosign

    It can get a bit complicated, so I just avoid the products they label as 'high risk.' Products are ranked as low risk, moderate or high risk based upon their specific chemical content. Occasionally I look up a product and it shows available for sale but not permitted in the EU due to chemical content. Interesting.

    I do miss Mentedent (high risk).
  12. by   StNeotser
    Quote from PeachPie
    Another hidden factor that contributes to the lower obesity rates in Europe is that so many people smoke heavily. This isn't necessarily healthier, but it does keep the weight down.

    http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/atlas40.pdf

    According tho the WHO, 26% of Britons smoke compared to 23% of Americans. I don't think Britons are less heavy because of that three percent difference. When making assertions such as the one above, please have some statistical evidence to back it up.

    As someone who has lived under both systems I think that a lot can be attributed to food and healthcare systems.

    US food appears to be calorie laden and short on nutrients. The UK in the 1990s was pummelled with health scare after health scare over food, so now everyone is far more choosy on what they will put in their mouths. The EU also has some control on what can be added to food. As said in other posts, the USA will allow more to be added than the UK/EU will.

    If you have one in six people without health insurance, they will get sicker, ignoring problems until they end up in the ER rather than going to their GP.

    When I lived in the UK the closest car park to my workplace was about 15 minutes walk away. I'm sure I wasn't the only person in the UK unable to park right outside my office. Now I am living in the USA I have to make a point to exercise as during the course of my day I would get very little (apart from running back and forth to forgetful patients rooms ) In the UK exercise was more of a passive thing.

    I'd say the UK was far more polluted than the part of the US I'm now in due to the amount of people on such a small island.

    As someone else said, we could go tit for tat over this all day. Just a few observations I've made having lived both places.
  13. by   Shamira Aizza
    I never suggested that WHO was attempting to mislead anyone, and I don't believe they are. They don't, however, gather this info directly themselves or dictate how the the participating countries gather data; they simply use the data that the countries provide.

    Holland, for example has discontinued facilities to care for infants born at 23-24 weeks. Infants born at 25-26 weeks may not receive any interventions at all based on their presentation. Other European countries will not count a very premature infant as a live birth (whereas Canada and the US will), making European birth rates look 'healthier.' http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/19/13/36956887.pdf

    In addition, countries with more aggressive rescusitation policies for premature infants tend to have higher mortalities...the only explanation for this is that those countries who don't attempt rescusitation for preemies also don't count them as morbid, otherwise the 'science' would suggest that doing nothing is therapeutic. http://www.lauralee.com/news/premature.htm

    I can't find the data (because it's not something people boast about about), but I suspect that countries with lower listed mortality rates also have far more liberal abortion policies.

    In addition, living longer does not necessarily mean living better. Average wait times for procedures like hip or knee replacements are up to a year or more and probably explains why the number one hospital for Canadian hip replacements is in Cleveland, Ohio. Implanted Defib; 8-week average wait time, which may explain lower expenditures..dead people don't cost anything. Cardiac bypass; 11 weeks (immediate or near immediate in the US).

    And as much as folks practice apologetics for their socialized health care (which has it's positive aspects), the tendency of these countries hasn't been to expand socialized services or improve upon the socialized model, but to instead expand privatized elements and improve the system by introducing competition and free-market influences.

close