Term paper on The Health of Americans Today


Only a healthy lifestyle contributes to the realization of all opportunities offered to man by nature. The man, however, lightly applies to his health. Compelling reasons for this attitude to his own health can include the modern medicine and some discrepancy between high levels of prosperity and cultural growth of the population, the belief in the inevitability of the outcome of the life and a lack of understanding of the consequences of indifference to his health. Of course, this is just a few reasons, but to watch out for health is the main task for a man, which the people from prosperous countries increasingly forget. For instance, in recent years the health of Americans is much worse and there are a number of reasons, including poor food culture, habits, deteriorating environmental conditions, low income of citizens.

Health of Americans has worsened in recent years

The health is the condition of a living organism in which the body as a whole and all the organs are able to perform their functions fully. Over the past few years public opinion polls show that most Americans put HEALTH on the first place among all values in life. People believe that it goes before education, good income, family well-being. However, the health is not only a personal value but also a social: sick people can not become a reliable pillar of the state. The Constitution of the World Health Organization says the highest level of health is one of the fundamental human rights. However the general health of the U. S. inhabitants has changed for the worse in recent years. It is stated in the report prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics.

In 1998, 69.1% of the U.S. population could boast that they have excellent or very good health, according to 2009, this number dropped to 66.6 percent (Investing in America’s Health, 2012).

The number of people who are overweight increased compared with 1997 almost in one-fifth. The number of people suffering from diabetes of the second type increased: in 1997 the disease was diagnosed in 5.3% of Americans, in 2009 – 8.8%. Somewhat smaller increase in the number of people with asthma is: in 2001 – 7.6%, in 2009 – 8,3 (Walls, 2006). Alcohol consumption among Americans over the past five years has also increased. In 2004, 19.2% of Americans have admitted that at least once a year, they drank more than five servings of alcohol, and in 2009 the figure was 23.6% (Alabama Cooperative Extension System, 2001).

The report notes that in recent years, the U.S. residents were more likely to resort to a variety of medical services. For instance, in 2009 more than 40% of adult Americans have been tested for HIV and people aged 50 to 64 received a flu shot a record number of times. It is noted by one of the authors of the report Janine Schiller, although the report focused on long-term changes, it also reflected the significant changes that have occurred in the period from 2008 to 2009. “Within one year the influenza vaccine is begun to use increasingly among people aged 18 to 49 years, Americans have become more active and have a rest in his spare time, in addition, the risk of not getting adequate medical service due to its high price significantly increased”, she said. (Investing in America’s Health, 2012). The report also highlighted that nearly 15% of U.S. citizens have no health insurance and are not attached to any medical facility.


American Human Development Index

Health is considered to be one of three American Human Development Index (American HD Index) values which also include education and standard of living.

American HD Index considers life expectancy to be a stand-in for the ability to have a long-lasting and healthy life, but it is also reviewed as an index of population’s health all around the world. The American Human Development Project is aimed at providing data on current life expectancy in the USA dividing them into information by state, congressional district and applying to different race and ethnicity in each state. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the information on mortality and population data.

In 2010-2011 the Measure of America investigate the health state of different groups of population by states, congressional districts, municipal areas, race and ethnicity as well as men and women presenting big gaps and troublesome problems with health but at the same time remaining optimistic to some measure.

The reason for optimism is the increase of life expectancy in almost nine years comparing to 1960. Now this figure states at 78.6 years. Even spending much more on health than any other country the USA takes the 30 place in life expectancy; there are 29 countries which have longer life expectancy although it spends one-eighth for health.

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