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Not as Healthy as We Think

In the US we tend to think we're fairly healthy. We have plenty of food, as well as access to some of the best physicians in the world. But a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that we're not nearly as healthy as we like to think we are. In fact, the health of the RICHEST American is as bad as that of the worst educated, lowest paid English citizen.

Despite their high-fat diet and sedentary lifestyle, the English are still less likely to have Type II diabetes than people in the US. The researchers say, "Americans are much sicker than the English."

In England, less than 8% of people in the highest income bracket had heart disease, while 12% of the same group in the US had heart disease, according to survey data. The lowest income groups in England and the US had heart disease rates of 11.6% and 17.1%, respectively.

About 6% of adults in England have diabetes, while the illness affects 12.5% of US adults?over twice as many. Researcher James Smith says, "We really did not expect there to be that big a difference." He doesn?t think the discrepancy is caused by the fact that everyone in the UK access to government-sponsored health care, since about 94% of non-Hispanic white Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 years report having access to health insurance. On the other hand, since Smith works for the RAND think tank, which does a lot of research for the government, his group would be reluctant to come to the conclusion that universal insurance coverage in the UK?despite all the complaints people there have about it?in any way contributes to their better health.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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