December 3, 2008

Blue state, red state: color your state FAT

Despite spending billions of dollars Americans continues to wallow in poor health. 

For the fourth year in row, Americans (overall) have failed to improve their health. Key factors are the "unprecedented" levels of obesity. U.S. health lags behind 27 other countries despite spending more on health care. President-elect Obama must do something about this health crisis. And the way to do something is to spend money on prevention and stop the obesity madness.

MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 3, 2008) — In a disturbing development, the 2008 America’s Health Rankings™: A Call to Action for Individuals & Their Communities revealed that the health of Americans has failed to improve for the fourth consecutive year. Key factors contributing to these results included unprecedented levels of obesity, an increasing number of uninsured people, and the persistence of risky health behaviors, particularly tobacco use.
For 19 years, America’s Health Rankings™ has provided an annual analysis of national health on a state-by-state basis. The longest running report of its kind, America’s Health Rankings™ evaluates a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental, and socio-economic data to determine national health benchmarks and an annual ranking of the healthiest and least healthy states. Despite the discouraging national story, some states are making significant strides against some of the country’s biggest health challenges — demonstrating that there are workable solutions to the most prevalent health problems.

The prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in the last 19 years. An alarming one in four Americans is currently considered obese putting them at increased risk for health issues such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer (endometrial, breast, colon, and gallbladder).

The United States currently falls behind 27 other countries in terms of a healthy life expectancy with an average of 69 years, while Japan leads all countries with an average of 75 years. Some of these differences can be attributed to the inability of the United States to effectively treat disease. The United States has the worst mortality rate from treatable conditions when compared to 18 other industrialized countries. The U.S. has fallen four spots in the last five years.

Today show calls the report "appalling".

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