Boilermaker Blog

We’re Number 1 (and that’s not good)

Americans are a people proud of our accomplishments and certainly willing to tell the world (USA, USA…).
However, a recent study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences found that the United States leads in categories that one would not want to win.
Compared to 16 other developed countries we are both unhealthier and, consequently, die at an earlier age.
Currently Americans spend $8,600 a year per person on healthcare, which is far above what many of our European counterparts spend with universal healthcare. So I guess money not only doesn’t buy happiness, it doesn’t buy good health.
Specific areas we lag other nations include: obesity, lung disease, diabetes, heart disease and infant mortality.
But it’s beyond internal diseases; you stand a seven times greater chance of being murdered and twenty times greater chance of being killed by a gun than European countries.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the numbers is the majority of Americans struck down die before reaching the age of 50!
“I don’t think most parents know that, on average, infants, children and adolescents in the U.S. die younger and have greater rates of illness and injury than youth in other countries” said Dr. Steven Woolf, who chaired the study.
I’m pretty confident that this problems has been decades in the making and defies an easy answer. Saying that, this is one race we need to stop winning because it is literally about life and death.

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