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, stroke, lung disease, and cancer.
Within each country, there exists a pronounced negative socioeconomic status (SES) gradient with self-reported disease so that health disparities are largest at the bottom of the education or income variants of the SES hierarchy. This conclusion is generally robust to control for a standard set of behavioral risk factors, including smoking, overweight, obesity, and alcohol drinking, which explain very little of these health differences. These differences between countries or across SES groups within each country are not due to biases in self-reported disease because biological markers of disease exhibit exactly the same patterns. To illustrate, among those aged 55 to 64 years, diabetes prevalence is twice as high in the United States and only one fifth of this difference can be explained by a common set of risk factors. Similarly, among middle-aged adults, mean levels of C-reactive protein are 20% higher in the United States compared with England and mean high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels are 14% lower. These differences are not solely driven by the bottom of the SES distribution. In many diseases, the top of the SES distribution is less healthy in the United States as well.
Another argument for single payer health care.
Aug 11, '06
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 commands 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.
Last edit by leslie :-D on Aug 11, '06