Ginger Garner, Guest Writer
A report published last month by the Institute of Medicine entitled, U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, was released on January 9, 2013.
CNN originally covered the Institute’s release of the report, and now the nutrition industry is chiming in, “The first obvious issue that arises from this report is that the “health care” system in America is a misnomer. We don’t provide health care, we provide sick care. Many of the common diseases that lead to our mortality rates being high are directly linked to what we affectionately call “high-risk behaviors.”
Read the full article – “U.S. sicker than rest of developed world—nutrition industry speaks out”
Here is an excerpt:
A new report released last month found that Americans are unhealthier than 16 other developed countries.
The report, which was compiled by the National Research Council and the Institutes of Medicine, found that, despite the fact that Americans spend the most money per year on health care, we’re not healthier or living longer than other countries.
Several factors contribute to U.S. debility, such as a large uninsured population, high consumption of calories, high drug abuse, less use of seatbelts, high levels of poverty, high reliance on cars and low physical activity. No single factor explains the overall status of American health.
Of the health areas studied, Americans ranked worse than other countries in nine categories, including, among others, drug abuse, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, and lung disease.
The study found that U.S. men live the shortest lives of all 16 countries at 76 years, and U.S. women ranked second-to-last at just under 81 years. Americans are more likely to die younger because of illnesses like obesity and heart disease.
“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, chair of the panel and of the department of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, according to NBC News.
There are many reasons why Americans are dying younger and the US ranks low in world health reports. The consequences are real and personal though.
We lose our loved ones, they lose their health and vitality, and we spend massive amounts of money and time on “sick care” instead of being able to enjoy our lives and spend our money on other things – like stress relieving vacations, for example. We need not drive our own country to extinction – simply from choosing high risk behaviors like smoking, eating processed food, and spending too much time on our backsides.
The most important reality though, is we need to be healthier if not for ourselves, for our families, our children, and the very security of the Nation we love and vehemently defend. Here are some ways you can protect your family.
About the Author
Ginger Garner PT, MPT, ATC, PYT is an integrative physical therapist and founder of Professional Yoga Therapy, an evidence based method for using yoga as medicine. Ginger advocates for her patients to receive holistic and integrative medical care in order to improve health care in the US today. Ginger has been teaching, writing, and lecturing across the United States on how to put the “care” back in health care since 2000. Her medical yoga post-graduate program, Professional Yoga Therapy, which teaches non-dogmatic, evidence-based care through fostering an east/west multi-disciplinary team approach, is a first of its kind in the United States. Ginger can be contacted at www.gingergarner.com and www.professionalyogatherapy.org.
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