Posted by: Tony Carson | 20 September, 2007

The Brits healthier than Americans? Who knew?

Is economic inequality in the US the main reason why the US scores so poorly against the British in many of the most vital health statistics?

“The U.S. 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,” conclude the researchers in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

How could this be? The British diet is terrible — greasy fish and chips, globs of shepherd’s pie (mashed potatoes piled on gray, ground-up meat), Yorkshire pudding (cream, eggs, flour and fat drippings). Forget vitamin D: The English rarely see the sun in a dank climate where the national dress is a raincoat. No wonder they drink more than we do! In this study of men and women aged 55 to 64, nearly 30 percent of the Brits were classified as heavy drinkers, compared with about 14 percent of Americans. Rates of smoking were about the same. So were rates of being overweight. But we were more obese: more than 30 percent of us, compared with about 23 percent of them.

Abigail Trafford looks into a health comparisons between these cousins in Advantage: The Brits. It’s a very interesting read.


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