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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Is America's Health Growing?

The United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention have released their annual report on how fast America's health is improving. Apparently compared to the past 5 years the growth of America's health has slowed down and this is an issue of grave concern. I took this from NewsRX.

Of specific concern in the report and if you visit UHF's website is the fact that America is getting fatter. This despite the fact that plenty of reports document the fact that the health risks, in terms of absolute life expectancy, associated with being obese have been greatly overstated. Being mildly overweight appears to have no effect on life expectancy in this country. Read my previous post on this issue of reworking the numbers on obesity.

It should be noted that I'm nearly underweight, so I'm not defending myself here, I just think that America's prevention efforts are probably misplaced in spending so much time in slowing down America's "growth".

America does finish 27th in life expectancy, which is of note, and apparently how quickly our life expectancy is rising compared to other leading countries is concerning. Here is a list of world life expectancies.

The argument has long been, by those I typically disagree with, that America leads the world in health spending, both on services and research, and yet if we lag behind other countries in health then there is something wrong with the model. This report certainly adds to their argument.

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