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Americans Are Seriously Sick

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the cough-hack dept.

1519

jd writes "A study by US and British researchers on frequency of illnesses shows that even when you compare like groups in the US and the UK, people in the US are considerably sicker than their counterparts in the UK. This is after factors such as age, race, income, education and gender were taken into consideration. The most startling conclusion was that although the richest Americans were better off than the poorest Americans, they did no better (health-wise) than the poorest of the English. Previous studies of the entire population had shown similar results, with America placing around 25th amongst industrialized countries on chronic disease prevention, but it had been assumed that minorities and economics were skewing the results. This study suggests that maybe that isn't the case."

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Answer is easy. (5, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252042)

Have a look at table 8 in this report [eurofound.ie] on industrial relations.
Statutory minimum annual leave plus public holidays

UK: 28 days (four weeks + public holidays)
US: 10 days (0 weeks + public holidays)
US's work culture of long working days, unpaid overtime & too few holidays is killing you. Add to that the stress of the burden of health care falling on individuals and you have the sort of mess tfa talks about.

No doubt many other people are going to write in talking about "fat americans" being the problem - and its true that nutrition in America is a serious problem, but the comparison is to England, [bbc.co.uk] so not the cause of the differences.

Personally, I work on average 8 months a year and spend the rest of the time travelling - I am rarely stressed and almost never sick.

Re:Answer is easy. (2, Informative)

Xargle (165143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252060)

Um, obesity may be on the increase in the UK, but it's no way near at the levels in the UK. Having lived in both countries I can attest to the fact the bloater ratio is way higher in the US.

Re:Answer is easy. (5, Interesting)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252096)

From TFA:

Even the U.S. obesity epidemic couldn't solve the mystery. The researchers crunched numbers to create a hypothetical statistical world in which the English had American lifestyle risk factors, including being as fat as Americans. In that model, Americans were still sicker.

I'm sure their methods were a little more rigorous than your heresay. I'd say that the GP is bang on, we're working ourselves to death.

Another interesting tidbit:

[...] the United States spends more on health care than any other industrialized nation, yet trails in rankings of life expectancy.

The United States spends about $5,200 per person on health care while England spends about half that in adjusted dollars.


Spending is only going to keep you alive for so long when you're overweight and out of shape from a poor diet and little exercise. That culture of 50 hour work weeks (or worse) just compounds these problems and shortens lives even more.

Re:Answer is easy. (2, Interesting)

Xargle (165143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252214)

The article says the study accounts for the higher occurence of obesity in the US. However the comment :

"No doubt many other people are going to write in talking about "fat americans" being the problem - and its true that nutrition in America is a serious problem, but the comparison is to England, [bbc.co.uk] so not the cause of the differences." ...discounts that this is a factor and implies that England has equivalent obesity rates to the US, which is entirely wrong.

I'd suggest you read TFC, TFA and then comment.

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252228)

My bad, only pointing out that obesity was ruled out as the cause of the health disparity...

Re:Answer is easy. (4, Interesting)

benbean (8595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252062)

Intelligent first post. Bravo sir.

I wholeheartedly agree. Having worked for 10 years in the US and now happily back in the UK, the lack of meaningful time off is stressful and damaging. And don't get me started on the unpaid overtime culture in the US that appears to be protected by statute - in IT anyway.

Re:Answer is easy. (-1, Flamebait)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252072)


Personally, I work on average 8 months a year and spend the rest of the time travelling - I am rarely stressed and almost never sick.


I've never needed to miss a day off work yet, and I'm still vigorously healthy! But that's not because of any shirker reason like holidays, but because I eat correctly for the human body I have, which is to eat vegetarian.

I know you'll shake your head at it like everybody does, but the typical vegetarian gets no cancer, never gets influenza (yes your flu last year could be avoided if you dumped meat) and will never have the depression, bowel disease, heart problems and overweight that inflict meat eaters!

Just think about it, food takes 4 days to go through your system and if you put meat in a body temperature container for 4 days how disgusting it's going to be when it comes out. You wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot stick! so why put it in your body? That's just insanity.

Remember it's been shown by many studies that humans are vegetarian primates, so eating meat is just going against nature, you may as well be eating steel or plastic for all the good it will do to your body!

Re:Answer is easy. (5, Insightful)

Barnoid (263111) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252101)

I've never needed to miss a day off work yet, and I'm still vigorously healthy! But that's not because of any shirker reason like holidays, but because I eat correctly for the human body I have, which is to eat vegetarian.

Don't think what's right for you is right for everybody.

I know you'll shake your head at it like everybody does, but the typical vegetarian gets no cancer, never gets influenza (yes your flu last year could be avoided if you dumped meat) and will never have the depression, bowel disease, heart problems and overweight that inflict meat eaters!

My mom's cousin has been a vegetarian since childhood. She died two years ago of breast cancer.

Re:Answer is easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252104)

I eat plastic :) ...not that it does me any good.

Re:Answer is easy. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252110)

Remember it's been shown by many studies that humans are vegetarian primates, so eating meat is just going against nature, you may as well be eating steel or plastic for all the good it will do to your body!

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I too am a vegetarian & that yes, overconsumption of meat is indeed one of the causes of the US's chronic health problems.

However, go and look in your mouth - see the canines there? The notion that humans are not well adapted to an omnivorous diet is a stupid one.

Also - saying "going against nature" (whether said by people like you or people arguing that eating meat is 'natural') makes no sense in this day & age - the life you lead is no more natural then the life of a bird in a cage.

Re:Answer is easy. (3, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252117)

The problem isn't really meat, it's cooked meat. The Inuit peoples survived for thousands of years on a diet of pure raw meat, and experienced few health problems until the arrival of Western cooked food, which immediately brought illnesses upon them. Many studies have shown that a diet of raw meat is perfectly healthy and natural for the human body, so your assertion that vegetarianism is the only solution is silly.

In any event, I myself stick to the continental idea that what good is life without fine food? Meat may bring its problems--though continental rates of heart disease are lower than those in the U.K. and U.S.--but my life is more satisfying with such delicacies as foie gras or salonna that without.

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252163)

Many studies have shown that a diet of raw meat is perfectly healthy and natural for the human body, so your assertion that vegetarianism is the only solution is silly.

So those raw beef sandwiches I've been eating in Brussels are actually good for me?

Excellent!

Re:Answer is easy. (2, Informative)

SigILL (6475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252236)

my life is more satisfying with such delicacies as foie gras

Until you learn how they actually make [wikipedia.org] that (warning: you may never eat foie gras again).

Re:Answer is easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252139)

Vegetarianism for moral/religious beliefs is one thing, but trying to pass it off as a superior diet is BS. Limiting beef and red meat intake is one thing, but animal meat is nutrient and protein rich. I can't imagine life w/o it. Yumm, white tiger. j/k. I hope you're taking a vegetarian supplement for things like L-Cystine, Taurine, L-Carnosine, Creatine Monohydrate, L-Carnitine Tartrate, etc.

Personally, I won't eat any pig, lamb, anything broiled alive i.e. lobster because I have issues with it.
And no high mercury fish, etc.

Re:Answer is easy. (2, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252167)

This is just silly.

I would take 4 day meat left out than 4 day vegatables post consumtion. By your logic we shouldn't have any food because it gets disgusting.

4 day left out rice is very dangerous to eat, with rice usually the cause of food poisening that people get from Chinese.

I know some "healthy" vegatarians (who do the balanced diet thing) and they tend to look a little (I assumed they were vegatarians before I knew based on "healthy glow"). I do have to agree that they are less likley to be overweight, and the flew thing may be true too, but they also in general are sicklier and at least on parity in the depression department (sample of 5 or so, take with salt).

The real reason I am osting though is that I read a study that looked at people and found that heritage had a large part of what you were supposed to eat, with people from long established farming societies far more capable of living healthy on pure vegatables than people from coastal or nomadic societies. So eat what you were meant to could mean vegatables for you and meat for someone else.

Also, I would like to add that as a whole people probably shouldn't eat large courses of meat every day, but I know I tend to get hungry less often if I eat it a few times a week.

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

locofungus (179280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252073)

Unfortunately, this is wrong. In the UK Statutory minimum leave is 20 days including bank holidays. (I'm in the UK and I get 15 days leave plus 8 days bank holidays.)

I believe that the rest of the EU gets 20days + bank holidays and IIRC this Government promised that if they won the last election they would increase the UK holidays to the same but it hasn't happened yet.

Tim.

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

Malenfrant (781088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252119)

No, this is wrong. UK employment law gives 20 days + bank holidays, at least if you work 5 days a week. If you are only getting 15 days a year, you are either not working full time, or your employer is breaking the law

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

AntiDragon (930097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252076)

I get about 30 days on average a year (UK). And, some years, it still seems like a pittance. I've had a really bad couple of years (personal life) and despite that time off, I haven't been on holiday as most of my spare time is taklen up with dealing with my family's problems (you could view it as another kind of work). There is no doubt that I have felt worse, been ill more often and generally performed badly because of this extra pressure.

It hasn't gone unnoticed, either.

If I hadn't been able to take off a week here and there, I doubt I'd still have a job - I needed that breathing space to "re-boot", as it were. And this is despite having previously been viewed as a very valuable employee.

So, although everyone's job and personal situation is unique, we need breathing space. Stress/overwork/lack of relaxation time noticeably affects health. I think the parent post is spot on - too much work will kill you.

(Looks at parent post's "4 months holiday" with severe envy :P )

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252087)

US's work culture of long working days, unpaid overtime & too few holidays is killing you.

I don't think that (in bold) reeeaally makes a difference, though I didn't realise the numbers - only 10 days annual leave? That's crazy!! No wonder most American's don't have passports - how do they get time to travel?!

Re:Answer is easy. (4, Insightful)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252120)

I think anyone that's worked a job with time-and-a-half for overtime will tell you that those kind of overtime hours never come in the quantites of the ones you get from say.. EA or Ubisoft :)

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252233)

I don't think that (in bold) [unpaid overtime] reeeaally makes a difference, though I didn't realise the numbers - only 10 days annual leave? That's crazy!! No wonder most American's don't have passports - how do they get time to travel?!

Unpaid overtime is a problem - because employers are far more likely to ask (or apply pressure on) employees to work overtime if they don't have to pay for it.

And yes, America's short vacation times (combined with the US's distance from everywhere else) is one of the major reasons most Americans don't travel overseas. It's also a reason (and the same holds true for the Japanese) that they prefer to travel in tour groups.

Re:Answer is easy. (0, Redundant)

sco08y (615665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252103)

Statutory minimum annual leave plus public holidays

That info is useless. What's the average time off for a worker in the US vs. one in the UK?

Re:Answer is easy. (2, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252164)

That info is useless. What's the average time off for a worker in the US vs. one in the UK?

Useless? I think minimum time off is certainly a factor. If you disagree, why not go & search for the information you're after and post it here?

Anyway, I can't find the exact statistics you're asking for, but this Wikipedia article on the working week [wikipedia.org] says the USA has a working year of 1777 hours vs UK's 1652. That's more than a three week difference (on a 40 hour week - 3 1/2 weeks for the French).

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252171)

I will second that.

Americans companies (the ones I know) usually have a provision for some maximum seek leave per year and you can use it for cases where a member of the family is sick. In the UK you cannot. Similarly, in the US it is much easier to supplement payed leave with unpayed. Go and try to take extra holiday in the UK as unpayed leave. Yeah, dream on. So on so fourth.

Still, while the numbers are not the representative statistic for this, there is the overall tendency in the US to have less holidays and work more. It is not 10/25. Possibly less, possibly more.

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252150)

That is an excellent argument, and I am inclined to agree with you. However, I have to play devil's advocate and point to Japan, where the culture of unpaid overtime and long hours is worse (most people I know here don't even *use* all their allotted vacation!) but people are, on average, healthier.

Re:Answer is easy. (5, Interesting)

mowph (642278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252151)

US's work culture of long working days, unpaid overtime & too few holidays is killing you.

Japan has the same minimum leave policy (10 days + stats), but on top of that, the leave policies are rarely enforced. It would normally be seen as selfish and inconsiderate of one's coworkers to actually use all of your leave, anyway. In many cases, company employees work completely unpaid "service overtime" out of obligation. Still, Japan is among the healthiest and longest-lived countries in the world.

I'd say there must be more to the picture. Like any complex system, the health of a nation probably can't be pinned on one single factor.

Re:Answer is easy. (2, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252165)

Still, Japan is among the healthiest and longest-lived countries in the world.

Wanna talk suicide rates?

TWW

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

castlec (546341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252158)

I can't say you are wrong but I will disagree with you. Since moving to Prague from the US, I have gone from almost never sick to getting sick at least twice per year. I've gone from working between 40-70 hours a week and lucky to have days off to 40-50 hours a week with about your quoted vacation time. To be honest with you, I don't know how to spend that much vacation time. If it wasn't for visiting my family in the US, I really wouldn't be able to do it. I could blame it on the food, but I ate nutritionless crap in the US too (I came here shortly after college). Maybe it's the air quality. Who knows.

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252195)

As much as I would like this to be true, I'd like to raise the Japanese case : 2 weeks of holidays but most workers don't take them. With S.Korea, one of the most stressfull environment of developped countries, yet one of the first life expectancy in the world.

Re:Answer is easy. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252216)

Exactly! The lack of vacation/sick leave also contributes to many Americans coming into the office with a cold or the flu and infecting the rest of their coworkers.

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

mrg17 (36780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252230)

Note that in the UK the "Statutory minimum annual leave" is inclusive of public holidays (although most employers do grant them in addition)

Re:Answer is easy. (1)

osheaf01 (972496) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252237)

The interesting thing is that the UK is probably the most "Americanised" country in Europe, bar maybe Ireland. If you made this comparison with Norway, I'd say, despite Norway's generally inhospitable climate, both the US and UK would suffer greatly by comparison. But, then, Norway does silly things like have one nationalised oil company, Statoil, which exploits Norway's North Sea oil in a much more measured way than the UK (which had 10 times the resources) did (the UK just farmed it out at famously bad - for the UK taxpayer - terms to US oil multinationals). The profits from this nationalised oil company have gone into a trust fund for the Norwegian people, with the result that Norway is probably the only advanced industrial country with NO national debt; instead, it has savings of almost 50% of GNP.... Scandinavians just do things smarter really. Another example: fines and speeding tickets. In most parts of the world, it might be £100 or £200, which might be a lot or a little depending on your income. In Finland, they relate it to your income...! Speeding? that'll be 1.5% of your income, please. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3477285.stm [bbc.co.uk] This sort of thing would never happen in the US, which has evolved into a plutocratic government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. This was the most telling part of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11", where Bush was caught on camera telling some donors that his "core vote" was the "haves and the have-mores." Never a truer word spoken.

Pies (5, Funny)

Loquis (56476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252043)

So who ate all the pies?

Re:Pies (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252045)

Oprah.

This is a trash study (-1, Troll)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252048)

this is a trash study that ignores the quality of the US health care system and ignores also the terrible "system" if you can even call it that that is the NHS in the UK where if you are ill you might be waiting YEARS for treatment, so people die before they are treated so never go on the list of people being sick.

A very skewed study, when you look at the amount of money invested in healthcare in the US compared to the UK and the amount of world beating world breaking medical procedures and "world firsts" there is no way the US is a sicker nation than the UK. You also just have to go to each country to see that.

Re:This is a trash study (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252055)

NHS in the UK where if you are ill you might be waiting YEARS for treatment, so people die before they are treated so never go on the list of people being sick.

I often visit the UK & am aware that the NHS is far from perfect.

However, I'd like to see some links backing up your assertion that you have to wait years for life-threatening procedures.

Re:This is a trash study (2, Funny)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252064)

However, I'd like to see some links backing up your assertion that you have to wait years for life-threatening procedures.
That, my friend, is a _feature_, not a bug.

Re:This is a trash study (2, Insightful)

Cougem (734635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252093)

You don't wait years when you're ill. That's retarded, so don't spout bullshit. Oh and by the way pasting in a daily mail headline of one poor person who had to isn't evidence, that's using an exceptation as an example. Americans get fucked over by their insurance just as often, if not more. The waiting lists are usually for things like knee replacements, which are my no means life threatening.

Re:This is a trash study (1)

arethuza (737069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252178)

Well, I know that there is a lot wrong with the NHS but I've actually never had a problem with it, the service my family has had has always been first rate (particularly the few occasions when we had to visit the Sick Kids hospital here in Edinburgh when junior had an accident). I used to have private health insurance (which is still an option in the UK) but I couldn't see the point.

Re:This is a trash study (5, Insightful)

pryonic (938155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252071)

But the fact is that the NHS provides free treatment to ALL UK citizens, not just those who can afford it. In America you can be seen quickly as long as you're willing to pay. Fine if you can afford it or if your employer gives you health insurance, but if not you're screwed.

I believe health care is a right, not a privilege for the rich, and I'm proud to pay my taxes towards the NHS that provides top notch treatment to EVERYBODY.

I'm guessing you're one of the lucky ones with private health insurance. Try living on the povery line and making a choice between getting that lump looked at or eating for a month. I know what most people are forced to choose in your so called land of the free...

Re:This is a trash study (1)

locofungus (179280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252105)

You should also remember that the per head costs of the health service in the UK is about half the per head costs of medical care in the US.

It would be interesting to know how rich you actually have to be before the US system looks like a better deal.

Tim.

Re:This is a trash study (1)

pryonic (938155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252154)

Yeah this is true. People often talk about how much more money is spent on medical care in the USA without actually looking at the underlying figures. Most medical procedures and drugs cost a hell of a lot more in the States than they do in the UK so just looking at total spending is very misleading.

Re:This is a trash study (1)

ChildeRoland (949144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252142)

What exactly makes health care a right to you or anyone else?

Re:This is a trash study (1)

ampathee (682788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252170)

What exactly makes health care a right to you or anyone else?

Uh, how about all the tax we pay? You know, for public services?

Re:This is a trash study (5, Informative)

arethuza (737069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252208)

Because we decided as a nation that it should be a right that want to grant to our fellows - and I'm very proud of this fact.

Re:This is a trash study (1)

pryonic (938155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252173)

I'm a liberal person by nature and thus have very liberal beliefs in human rights. I believe all humans have a right to be free (as in freedom), have the right to a fair trial, to be educated and to live healthily (eg be provided healthcare).

It's up there with liberty and live mate.

Re:This is a trash study (3, Insightful)

bitkari (195639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252124)

Sure, the US does expend much more money on healthcare than the UK, but if this study suggests that people in the UK are still healthier, what does that say of the US healthcare system?

Perhaps the NHS with it's endless 'performance targets', NICE reviews, and Local Trust bureaucracies is actually doing a better job of making people better than the largely private US system, with it's deeper pockets, and strong-arm tactician pharmaceutical companies?

Re:This is a trash study (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252203)

I think you're making a, possibly false assumption, and that is that the reason the UK population is less sick than the US population is becaue the NHS makes them better quicker: possibly so as there is no disincentive to get early treatment from your GP rather than waiting for it to get more serious before seeking treatment.

It's also possible that we (in the UK) simply don't get sick as often and some of the protections we have (including the NHS) but also employment protection (most people can't be kicked out of their job on a whim, unlike the US) and greater holidays makes us less stressed and thus less prone to sickness.

Duuuuuuuuh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252049)

Socialism == Medical

US != Socialism

HENCE

Medical != US

Sheesh.. when we'll we learn?

Re:Duuuuuuuuh (2, Funny)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252127)

Sheesh.. when we'll we learn?

When a guy who's sick of the flue hijacks a plane and flies it into a building.

Re:Duuuuuuuuh (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252155)

When a guy who's sick of the flue hijacks a plane and flies it into a building.

"Who put this chimney in this plane, huh? I'm trying to sleep and there's smoke everywhere. Goddamnit, I've had enough; I'm taking this plane DOWN!"

TWW

*ducks* (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252215)

I should have added *ducks* whoops.

Re:Duuuuuuuuh (1)

iogan (943605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252162)

you got modded funny, but if you want to know who's really sick (to the tune of male life expectancy around 55, net loss of over million citizens a year, etc) check out Russia. And then check the stats for the Soviet Union. Makes for interesting reading...

We may be sick (3, Funny)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252050)

But at least we're not revolting!

Universal Healthcare? (2, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252052)

A friend of mine who is typically an ardent democrat told a Democratic Party representative (who was asking her for money) told the representative that she'll give the Party money as soon as they get her universal healthcare.

Perhaps she's being a little unreasonable, but then again, if the Democratic Party continues to be ineffective, and impotent, perhaps we should be looking towards a party that does have the courage to stand up to the Republicans and actually get things like universal healthcare into the running for issues.

Re:Universal Healthcare? (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252078)

Rick Mayes' Universal Coverage [amazon.com] is a good book to pick up if you are curious on why the U.S. is among the only first-world countries with no universal healthcare. It should be available in any good university library. Unfortunately, the book is quite a downer, and sees little solution to the bureaucratic mire that Medicare and Social Security have created. After reading this book, you'll have a strong desire to emigrate.

Had President Clinton not appointed his wife over the issue just over a decade ago, we might have made some progress. Hillary has her talents, but she was so controversial that the entire matter of national healthcare became taboo for years afterward.

Re:Universal Healthcare? (5, Insightful)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252153)

According to TFA coverage isn't the issue here. The purpose of the study was to compare health across the board, not just of the working class or poor (who would benefit from a universal healthcare system) and it found that regardless of income Americans were less healthy than UKers. Which is bizarre, considering we (the US) are still the richest country in the world, and should therefore have the best top tier healthcare.. or at least one would think.

At any rate, as cool as universal healthcare would be, TFA really isn't bringing that issue up. Rather, I think it alludes to the hire levels of stress or maybe more generally the unhealthy ways we Americans live. Universal Healthcare can't make you sleep 8 hours every night or eat all your vegetables, and I think that's really the point that should be driven home by the article... as Americans, we just aren't living healthily (and no amount of healthcare can make up for that.)

"Americans Are Seriously Sick" (5, Funny)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252065)

Whereas Canadians are "x-treme", and the French are "to the max"

No Wonder (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252067)

What do you expect of a former colony of nutcases, sick people and criminals.

Re:No Wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252137)

Sounds like a troll, but maybe we should compare it to Australia just to be sure to dismiss this trollish thesis.

Re:No Wonder (1)

ScouseMouse (690083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252148)

That was Austraila, and they seem to be doing a damn sight better without us.
So from the evidence, I can only assume "Nutcase" and "criminals" depends on your point of view, and as for the number of "Sick people". it looks like they dealt with it pretty well.

Most of the people who emagrated to America were pretty healthy. Sick people would have had trouble surviving the journey.

Re:No Wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252201)

Good comment! But dont feed the trolls.

Assumed by whom? (4, Insightful)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252068)

America placing around 25th amongst industrialized countries on chronic disease prevention, but it had been assumed that minorities and economics were skewing the results.

I really don't believe that was assumed by most public health experts, and certianly not ones outside the US. The US does not just have greater socioeconmic differences, but since thay have no proper pubic heathcare, those differences matter a lot more. And even if you belong to the group that can afford proper care, you still have to go get it; there is little follow-up by default. It would really be quite shocking if the US system resulted in high a level of public health as the more proactive systems found in western Europe. Now, I know that there are varying opinions on what are the responsibilities of society and of the individual, and I'm not going to go into that. But of there are effects. I assume that most of those against public healthcare accept those consquences as a fair price (for someone else) to pay, but if this result came as an unwelcome suprise, I would call that a tad naïve.

Re:Assumed by whom? (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252089)

I would call that a tad naïve.
Admit it! You wrote that whole post just to get to use that letter, didn't ya?

Re:Assumed by whom? (1)

domipheus (751857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252094)

but since thay have no proper pubic heathcare..

Classic typo!

Re:Assumed by whom? (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252126)

No, no, any good gardening text will tell you about the rather "particular" procedures required to cultivate heath successfully in your garden.

Re: TypoMan strikes! (4, Funny)

Grab (126025) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252116)

Normally I'm not a spelling Nazi, but "pubic healthcare" is too good to pass up... ;-)

Grab.

PS. Having said that, you've written "naive" with a diacritic, which I'd never bother with, so bonus points there.

Re: TypoMan strikes! (4, Funny)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252140)

It was "pubic heathcare", you insensitive clod.

Re:Assumed by whom? (2, Insightful)

Duds (100634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252152)

Indeed, because of course there's no ethnic minorities in the UK at all.

Re:Assumed by whom? (0, Redundant)

iogan (943605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252179)

but since thay have no proper pubic heathcare, those differences matter a lot more

So that's why they shave it off?!

ENGLAND IS NOT BRITAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252079)

You idots

New Research Concludes With Startling Results (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252080)

The most startling conclusion was that the richest Americans were better off than the poorest Americans

Call me a pessimist... (5, Insightful)

jgdobak (119142) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252085)

...but, working in the healthcare profession in the US, no one gets paid unless you're sick. Sadly, healthcare here is definitely for-profit. So of course we're all 'sick.'

(Not a supporter of socialist programs in general, but healthcare is too important to be trusted to human greed.)

Re:Call me a pessimist... (2, Insightful)

5cary (632356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252166)

but healthcare is too important to be trusted to human greed.

...or the Government.

I disagree (0)

cappadocius (555740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252190)

>healthcare is too important to be trusted to human greed

it's too important not to be.

Re:I disagree (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252193)

Um, maybe you didn't read the article, but the results are in...

I am incredibly healthy (2, Insightful)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252088)

Well, I am sure it has something to do with diets. You see, I haven't been sick for years (except once for a day or two in China). I stopped smoking, I eat a varied healthy diet and I exercise. But I'm not a health freak. I drink, I eat hamburgers etc. every now and then and I don't exercise THAT much.

However, my brother smokes, eats lots of junkfood and never exercises more than going for a walk. He gets a flu or some other bug maybe five or more times a year!

A simple change in lifestyle will make you much healthier.

Michael Moore's new movie about health care (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252091)

Michael Moore is going to expose the rotten health care system in the USA in his new movie called Sicko:
http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.ph p?id=193 [michaelmoore.com]

The health insurance industry is a parasite the purpose of which is to interfere with your patient-doctor relationship and to deny your treatment.

environmental factors ? (2, Informative)

jimbob1859 (954480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252106)

Living in the Chicagoland area where air quality is more a mocking term than something to brag about, I seem to remember during my stints in europe several years ago that everybody seemed to be a lot more concerned with things like air quality, environmental impact. I remember there being a law severely restricting output of several chemicals in germany as early as ten years ago whereas some of those are still being thrown in the air happily every day around here. that's just one of several items where laws and regulations are a lot tougher in europe when it comes to the environment and keeping it healthy.

Fast food (5, Insightful)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252108)

Maybe it's because of the fast food? I live in England and I eat pretty much entirely home cooked and prepared meals, except maybe apart from the odd sandwich from Sainsbury's.
I recently went out to stay at a friends house for a weekend, and on the first day we ate McDonalds in the evening. The next day I was feeling pretty sick. All I ate about two burgers and some chicken nuggets.

Re:Fast food (4, Insightful)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252177)

I don't buy that. The diet of low-income Britain is generally terrible. Chips with everything, with the "everything" part often being deep-fried too. And that combination being characterised as "proper food". Crisps and a chocolate bar considered an adequate meal for a kid. Last I was there, business at McDonalds seemed quite brisk in the UK as well.

Re:Fast food (2, Funny)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252238)

To be fair, there are plenty of english meals that dont have chips. eg:

fish and mushy peas (thats not that bad)
mushy pea butties (that cant be that bad)
meat pie butty (thats a bad one)

there are plenty more, but bacon, eggs and black pudding doesn't really highlight my point.

free as in beer (5, Insightful)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252115)

Let me quote this from the BBC article [bbc.co.uk] :
Rates of smoking are similar in the US and England but alcohol consumption is higher in the UK.
There you have it, folks, DRINK!

(I am only half joking)

Wow, so many industrialized countries? (1)

zelvopyr (928135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252125)

I did not expect such a big number...

Per Capita Healthcare Spending (2, Insightful)

LeastWorst (708565) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252134)

From tfa:
"The United States spends about $5,200 per person on health care while England spends about half that in adjusted dollars."
So you lot are spending twice as much to get worse results? Great system guys. It's shameful that in the the richest country in the world people are suffering and dying because they can't afford to see a doctor.

Re:Per Capita Healthcare Spending (2, Insightful)

jgdobak (119142) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252160)

That's because it's a game of semantics.

The point here in the US (with our wonderful for-profit system) is not to make people well. That went out the window years ago.

The point is to find a way to rule regular conditions (like an allergy to pollen during the springtime) as a sickness, and find a way to rake in a few dollars from it as a result.

I maintain that Americans are not actually more sick than residents of other countries, but that routine conditions that are regular and normal (colds in the winter, allergies in the spring, headaches, etc) are paperworked into being 'sick' and treated medically, because there is more profit in doing so.

Re:Per Capita Healthcare Spending (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252225)

As an alergy sufferer it really sucks. I lose my voice if I do not take any medicine for it. If I do not at least take an anti-inflamatory I get a sinus infection. I would definatly say I require medicine, and in a pre-clariten/pre-anti-histamine era I would probably be a far less functional person with out it.

But, what really pisses me off is people who get insurance to cover their Clarinex because the co-pay is cheaper than OTC Clariten. Then they wonder why insurance rates go up. I bet unsurance could cut its cost by about $5 per month.

I don't really know what insurance companies pay, but the first price I found online was $65/month.

CVS brand generic Claritan is $10/month the same as most co-pays.

I don't know how many other cases there are where insurance companies are covering what people should be buying themself and than putting the cost on me, but I bet it is a lot.

Re:Per Capita Healthcare Spending (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252224)

nah, we're suffering and dying because we don't exercise, eat too much and with too little nutritional value, and have forced-air HVAC systems that grow and spread fungus, bacteria and parasites.

Nationality (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252138)

The official nationality of people from the UK is British, not English. By referring to Brits as "English", you're pissing off a sizable number of people who are proud to be Scottish, Irish, Welsh, etc. Us English did some pretty nasty things to them in the past, so calling them "English" isn't exactly going to ingratiate yourself with them.

By referring to people from the UK as British, you're still going to piss off some Irish, but at least you're correct in your terminology. Yes, British is the correct term to use for somebody from the UK, even if they aren't from Great Britain. References:

Having read the article, I have no clue exactly which region of the world it is talking about, because it seems to use different regions as synonyms. It could be the UK, which is a country and member nation of the UN. It could be Great Britain, which is a geographical region within the UK comprised mainly of England, Wales and Scotland. Or it could be England, which is a region, home nation and constituent country of the UK, but which doesn't have its own government.

If I had to guess, I'd say that they were talking about the UK, even though they don't use the word "UK" at all, instead opting for "British" and "England". I base this guess on years of experience with peopel from the USA getting it wrong and the sentence "Those dismal results are despite the fact that U.S. health care spending is double what England spends on each of its citizens." Hint: England spends nothing whatsoever on its citizens. The NHS in England is run by the UK government. It's the NHS in other parts of the UK that belong to their respective constituent countries - England actually has very little to call its own these days.

England, Great Britain and the UK are three completely different things. Mix them up, and you piss people off. It's a bit like mixing up California with the USA with North America. You'd think somebody was pretty ignorant to do that, right?

Re:Nationality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252213)

Well said!
I'm Scottish and it really annoys me when people call the UK "England" or everyone in the UK "English".
I have nothing against English/Welsh/Irish people - they can be quite nice infact! I'd rather be called Scottish or British, not English, Welsh or Irish.

I can't believe your post doesn't have a higher rating yet!

An angry Scot

They are fat too (1)

cciRRus (889392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252174)

Not only are they sick, they are rather fat too [newscientist.com] !

You know, just a thought (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252188)

Not only are they sick, they are rather fat too!

I can't help but wonder, do you think these two things might have something to do with each other?

They mean, WHITE Americans (2, Interesting)

s0l3d4d (932623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252184)

"Only non-Hispanic whites were included in the study to eliminate the influence of racial disparities. The researchers looked only at people ages 55 through 64, and the average age of the samples was the sammples was the same."

Great. Of course as the comparison data, they must have used the non-Hispanic and non-mainland-European Brits to compare them to. I didn't know NHS would have that data available.

What if e.g. the Hispanic people would have showed to be healthier in US than in Latin America? Or Black Americans as opposed to Black British, Black Africans, Black Latin Americans, Black Swedish, Black Canadians and so on...

Why do they make the conclusion that ALL Americans are so and so, based only on selected WHITE Americans of a certain age? Because they still think there is a White MAJORITY of people?

Re:They mean, WHITE Americans (2, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252206)

Because they still think there is a White MAJORITY of people?

In the USA, that is the case:

"Nearly 217 million people, or 77.1 percent of the total population, reported as white," http://www.govspot.com/news/reports/population.htm [govspot.com]

Re:They mean, WHITE Americans (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252223)

non-mainland-European Brits

I would think that the Mainland-European Brits would probably all fit into a single 747. What do you mean by this phrase?

TWW

More proof for chemtrails! Its spainish flu! (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252204)

Its so obvious! [wikipedia.org]

Sweet tooth & work stress (2, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252205)



"Americans reported twice the rate of diabetes compared to the English, 12.5 percent versus 6 percent. For high blood pressure, it was 42 percent for Americans versus 34 percent for the English; cancer showed up in 9.5 percent of Americans compared to 5.5 percent of the English."

I am dutch, but have been to the states a lot as my parents have lived there on several occasions. My impressions:

Higher diabetes rates could well be explained by the large amounts of sugar in lots of food products in America. Even the bread was very sweet to my senses, let alone the rediculous amounts of soft drinks consumed( "would you like a refill for that half-a-litre of coke you just drained?" ).

Higher blood pressure: higher work stress. I don't think I need expand on this, it's a well known fact that Americans work more and have less holidays/vacations.

Also less physical exercise will not help either conditions.

But the higher cancer rates quite baffle me. Strange stuff.

healthcare system differences ? (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252219)

ALmost every health analysis names another issue being the cause of the given results. But I almost always tend to agree that one of the most important cause is probably in the differences of the different countries' health care systems. Many arguments can be raised in favor and against the different systems, still, such high differences IMO can not be explained just with working culture/number of workfree days per year/income/immigrants. Just my 0.02.

Why not relocate? (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252221)

Seriously.... is there anything which makes America a preferred place to live? Most Americans hardly seem to know much... make that anything, about other peoples, cultures, food habits etc. The images on TV during the Great Power Outage over New York.. well, even young people seem overly bloated.

Ingenious health insurance schemes making it even more difficult and expensive to stay reasonably healthy... not much political will to change things anytime soon.. why not dump it all and relocate elsewhere? The culture of "Each Man to Himself" seems largely to blame for the inertia.
-
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