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Mind the gap: UK found to be healthier than America

 
 
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 01:18 pm
Quote:
The British Are Much Healthier Than The Americans

Main Category: Public Health News
Article Date: 03 May 2006 - 8:00am (PDT)

A large study, which looked at the health of middle class, middle-aged, white residents in both the USA and Britain found that the British enjoy much better health than their American counterparts. Even though the USA has a much higher income per capita than the UK, about 25% higher, the British are far ahead when it comes to the health of its residents.

Americans also spend a great deal more on health care than the British do. The average expenditure per head per year on health in the UK is $2,164, while in the USA it stands at $5,274.

You can read about this study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), May 3 Issue.

Even when obesity, drinking, smoking and social levels are taken into account, the difference between the two nations is significant.

Here are some figures showing the incidence of some diseases:

Diabetes
USA - 12.5%
UK - 6.1%

High Blood Pressure
USA - 42.4%
UK - 33.8%

Heart Disease
USA - 15.1%
UK - 9.6%

Cancer
USA - 9.5%
UK - 5.5%

Lung Disease
USA - 8.1%
UK - 6.3%

Stroke
USA - 3.8%
UK - 2.3%

Heart Attack
USA - 5.5%
UK - 4%

The study looked at the health of 6,400 Americans and 9,300 British people aged 40-70.

The researchers also found that in many aspects of health the UK people at the lower end of the social scale enjoyed better health than the Americans at the top end. Heart disease in Britain's lowest group stood at 11.6%, while for the highest American group it was 12%.

The researchers are not sure what the reason(s) for this disparity may be. There are many factors which could be responsible. Here is a list:

-- Britain has a universal health care system which is free for everyone. The USA has a patchwork of public and private healthcare. However, this study looked at well-off white residents - in both countries, all the people studied had good access to health care.

-- The USA has a bigger obesity/overweight problem than the UK does. The obesity/overweight problem has been present in the USA for longer than in the UK.

-- The British are more physically active than the Americans. People walk and cycle more in Britain than in America. The British also use public transport more.

-- Americans eat more junk food than the British do.

-- American food portions are much bigger than British ones. American portions are three times the size of a portion in the 1970s.

-- Americans are not addressing the underlying problems of obesity as much as the British are. Americans are treating the symptoms of obesity, rather than the reasons for it. However, it must be pointed out that the British are getting fatter and people complain not enough is being done to address the reasons for rising obesity levels in Britain.

-- Americans suffer from higher levels of stress than the British do.

If all the British have access to free health care, which is not the case in America, one wonders what the health disparities would be if all sectors of society in both countries were studied and compared.

Britain does not enjoy better levels of health when compared to many of its European neighbours.

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today
Source

Others say:

Detroit Free Press: Aging Yanks are sicker than Brits
Boston Globe: More illness found in US than in Britain
Guardian:
Middle-aged Britons healthier than American counterparts
BBC: White middle-aged Americans are less healthy ...
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,125 • Replies: 48
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 01:25 pm
I'm kind of curious as to your point in posting this, since you are a citizen of neither.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 01:53 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
I'm kind of curious as to your point in posting this, since you are a citizen of neither.


You mean A2K's category "Medical News and Health" is reserved only for UK and US citizens?

Any proof for that?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 02:19 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
I'm kind of curious as to your point in posting this, since you are a citizen of neither.


You mean A2K's category "Medical News and Health" is reserved only for UK and US citizens?

Any proof for that?

Since I never made such a statement, I don't have to prove its truth. My question remains unanswered.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 02:26 pm
And by what means are you asked this? Is it against the TOS? Or you a moderator or administrator?

But to answer it before you ban me: I thought it to be relevant in this category. And I find it quite interesting since my examination in Public Health was about different health systems in these two countries.
0 Replies
 
detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 02:44 pm
brandon, would it upset you if I compared the health of the French and the Poles?
.
Are there rules for posting certain things? Are you deciding who posts what?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 02:56 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
And by what means are you asked this? Is it against the TOS? Or you a moderator or administrator?

But to answer it before you ban me: I thought it to be relevant in this category. And I find it quite interesting since my examination in Public Health was about different health systems in these two countries.

I asked the question, because I wanted to know the answer. There wasn't the slightest implication that you cannot post whatever you want. Why would I have to be a "moderator or administrator" to ask a question on a public message board?

Thanks for your answer.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 02:59 pm
detano inipo wrote:
brandon, would it upset you if I compared the health of the French and the Poles?
.
Are there rules for posting certain things? Are you deciding who posts what?

I merely asked what his motivation was. How does that imply that I told him he couldn't post it? I don't quite follow that step. Walter is to be considered immune from questioning???
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 03:06 pm
Rather than try and hijack the thread, as some here have tried, I'll address the issue.

I find this a very interesting piece, Walter. Thanks for posting it. It comes as no surprise though. We eat like we might never see food again, we don't exercise and we've managed to insert high fructose corn syrup into everything. It's a wonder the ratios between Brits and Americans aren't higher.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 03:09 pm
brits healthier
not that it makes much of a difference , but ...

"i do not have to have a motivation to post something ".

usually i post if i find something that interests me , if it also interests others ... so much the better
.
if it's not of interest to others ... it'll go down the chute (does happen !).
hbg
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 03:27 pm
Quote:
Americans eat more junk food than the British do.

-- American food portions are much bigger than British ones. American portions are three times the size of a portion in the 1970s.

As to the first statement. The British have no identifiable cuisine that strikes me as even appetizing. In a rewtaurant around here,they tried serving ham sammiches with tomato and cheese on garlic scones. Nobody would eat the damn things. A scone is somethimng you make when you cant bake.

Thesecond part is, unfortunately, quite true, The movie "Supersize me" was a gret experiment in adopting a solely junk food diet.

As a country, we ingest more salt per capita than almost anywhere else. The British diet, as bland as it is, can actually make you live longer, but whos care? If I have to live on slop and gruel and some of those tasteless "meat like" substances they pass off as sausage in the UK, hell, Id want to die young.

We also have a lifestyle difference. How many Brits do you see dying from bungee jumping from bridges and "street luge'ing". We had 2 people die last weekend drag racing along the breast of a dam.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 03:34 pm
That is, indeed, very interesting!!!


In any of the links, are they saying whether or not the study looked at any factors which might explain this?


It certainly opens up very interesting lines of research to tease out factors which might be causing the difference.
0 Replies
 
Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 03:45 pm
farmerman wrote:
Quote:
Americans eat more junk food than the British do.

-- American food portions are much bigger than British ones. American portions are three times the size of a portion in the 1970s.

As to the first statement. The British have no identifiable cuisine that strikes me as even appetizing. In a rewtaurant around here,they tried serving ham sammiches with tomato and cheese on garlic scones. Nobody would eat the damn things. A scone is somethimng you make when you cant bake.

Thesecond part is, unfortunately, quite true, The movie "Supersize me" was a gret experiment in adopting a solely junk food diet.

As a country, we ingest more salt per capita than almost anywhere else. The British diet, as bland as it is, can actually make you live longer, but whos care? If I have to live on slop and gruel and some of those tasteless "meat like" substances they pass off as sausage in the UK, hell, Id want to die young.

We also have a lifestyle difference. How many Brits do you see dying from bungee jumping from bridges and "street luge'ing". We had 2 people die last weekend drag racing along the breast of a dam.


I shall resist, only because of your damned sexy avatar.





<Ellpus grrrrrrrrrrr's silently into the palm of his hand>
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 03:58 pm
They consider boiling water"a sauce" in the UK.
0 Replies
 
Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 04:03 pm
There is an easy answer to this, and I put it here, on the "original" thread.

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=2016450&highlight=#2016450
0 Replies
 
detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 04:04 pm
It is almost im possible to imagine anything worse than American fast food. To make sarcastic remarks about British cuisine is comical.
.
US kids are in sad shape, being raised on junk food (good name).
.........................................
The crisis is obesity. It's the fastest-growing cause of disease and death in America. And it's completely preventable.

* Nearly two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese.
* One out of every eight deaths in America is caused by an illness directly related to overweight and obesity.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 04:42 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
And by what means are you asked this? Is it against the TOS? Or you a moderator or administrator?

But to answer it before you ban me: I thought it to be relevant in this category. And I find it quite interesting since my examination in Public Health was about different health systems in these two countries.


Yeah... there's only one problem.

I beat you to the punch by 4 hours and 40 minutes.

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73885

Laughing

farmerman wrote:
They consider boiling water"a sauce" in the UK.


Not true... British cuisine is actually quite nice, if you go to the more expensive restaurants. Plus, I have never heard of this ham and tomato garlic scone atrocity before. Doesn't sound very British to me.
0 Replies
 
Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 05:17 pm
Wolf_ODonnell wrote:


farmerman wrote:
They consider boiling water"a sauce" in the UK.


Not true... British cuisine is actually quite nice, if you go to the more expensive restaurants. Plus, I have never heard of this ham and tomato garlic scone atrocity before. Doesn't sound very British to me.


Wolf, I believe this was an attempt by an American to create an "English" dish, in order to attract fellow Americans. You know how anything that hints of "Olde Worlde" attracts them. Farmerman was seduced by it, and he is reasonably intelligent, so I would imagine that there were many others who sampled the abomination before going outside to puke.

An obviously foreign dish, being prepared by an American is bad enough, but then presenting it as English fare?

OUTRAGEOUS!
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 05:22 pm
A note: by stress, I wasn't restricting the word to work alone. I think, though I don't know british life in and out, that we tend to have a much more stressed outlook or lifestyle.
0 Replies
 
Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 05:35 pm
Having not lived in the USA, I wouldn't know, lk.

Maybe Heeven or Dag could comment? Or anyone else who has had a foot in both camps.

Purely from an outsiders observations, it would seem that you in the USA seem to have a never ending struggle to make ends meet. Always worrying about healthcare, dental perks and such.

You have much better weather though. I think the people in the USA have much more opportunity to enjoy "good weather" outdoor activities, eg BBQ's etc.
We are usually stuck indoors watching Coronation Street.
0 Replies
 
 

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