More Americans dying in middle age from drug overdoses, obesity, suicide, and dozens of other diseases, according to a study published in JAMA. The director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs, called the Republican tax cuts for America’s biggest corporations a killing causing America’s health decline.
America’s Health Decline and Corporations Are Feeding This Crisis
Instead of money being put to use by U.S. citizens, trillions of dollars will go back to corporate owners’ pockets.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published earlier this month that the U.S. life expectancy declines for the second year in a row. Between 2015 and 2016, life expectancy reduced by 0.1 years.
Although 0.1 may seem like a small, irrelevant number, as the parameter of public health – it’s a lot! Compared to other highly-developed countries, the US life expectancy slowly slips behind, more and more. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published comparative data about life expectancy throughout the world. In the competition of 35 countries, the US ranked 27th. Japan is, traditionally, the leader with 83.9 years – the US is with 78.7 years, more than five years behind.
We need to make better use of our resources to enhance America’s declining well-Being, health, and life expectancy.
Who is to blame for this?
The greed of corporations and their methods for market domination!
Keeping in mind that U.S. residents pay almost $10,000 per person annually (two to three times more than Canadians and the entire European Union), a quite logical question emerges – why American lifespan is rapidly shortening?
One of the problems is overpriced healthcare in America. Unlike health systems abroad, the pricing policy in the healthcare sector is left to private practices. Lead by profit goals, the industry pumped up the prices of hospital stays, drugs, procedures, and all other health services, leaving healthcare unaffordable for millions and millions of Americans.
Another problem for the life expectancy decline is increasing the number of people with low income. Compared to their wealthy fellow citizens, poor Americans die 10-15 years earlier (on average). Overpriced healthcare services, combined with poverty, have devastating effects.
America is facing another epidemic caused by corporations – obesity and opioid abuse.
The metabolic changes caused by excessive body weight are the leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (which are the leading cause of death in the western world). Heart attack, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and some types of cancer caused by obesity shorten the lives and reduce the life quality of obese Americans.
The opioid epidemic that became a major problem for public health in the US causes deaths from substance abuse, overdose, suffer, suicides, addiction, etc. CDC estimates that 63,600 Americans died in 2016 due to drug overdose (tripling the drug overdose rates from the past 20 years). Although opioid epidemics are often presented as a bad life choice of an addict, irresponsible corporate policies make these bad life choices easy to make.
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist from the University of California, describes in his book (The Hacking of the American Mind) that the obesity epidemic in the US is caused by fast-food that’s stuffed with fructose corn syrup and other highly processed, dense calorie food. This is how corporate policies in the food industry affect all US citizens, pushing them towards obesity. The process of slow and painful death is taking place without any corporative responsibility. Instead of improving nations’ health, the food industry leaders simply refuse to change regulations and food policies. The beverage industry refuses to reduce the amount of sugar in soda, pushing Americans to consume sugar (a practice with deadly consequences).
As mentioned above, corporations are involved in the opioid epidemic as well. The recent affair about the drug OxyContin and the pharmaceutical company that manufactures it, Purdue Pharma, perfectly depicts the complexity of the problem America is facing today in the sector of healthcare. Allegedly, Purdue did not study the risks of OxyContin use properly, paid off doctors to ignore safety concerns, and started an aggressive campaign to advertise the drug-pushing it onto doctors, despite the evidence of addiction crisis. The company (of course) denied all allegations, claiming it is devoted to the fight against opioid addiction and actively supporting the Food and Drug Administration’s Opioid Action Plan.
American politics is a servant of corporate power. As a result, the mortality crisis and life expectancy in the US are worsening daily. American people’s health depends on the restoration of the moral values American society has nurtured from the nation’s early beginning and fight against corporative greed and arrogance.
How to Live to 100?
There’s plenty of data to show that we living creatures need to be spending time outdoors, and we just don’t get enough of it. There was a study out of Harvard Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), which looked at a hundred thousand nurses over many, many years. They found that women who lived in the greenest areas had a 12% reduced risk of early death than women who did not. They found lower rates of certain types of mental illness, lower rates of depression, lower rates of anxiety, and just lower the rates of some of these mental illnesses for those be more in nature as opposed to inside.
It was Kermit, the Frog, that said it’s not easy being green. Being green can help you live longer!
Living outdoors has an absolute benefit that you’re going to get, and that is that you’re less likely to be sitting. People have said that Sitting is the New Smoking! Get Outside…