U.S. Health Improvements Slowing - Alarm at High Infant Mortality Rates and Obesity

Discussion in 'Black Health and Wellness' started by Aqil, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Feb 3, 2001
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    New York
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    Although the overall health of U.S. residents continues to improve, health indicators show that improvements have slowed in recent years, in part because of increases in obesity and infant mortality rates, according to the 15th annual America's Health: State Health Rankings study.

    The study, which was launched in 1990, has been performed by the United Health Foundation since 1999. States are scored using federal data according to 18 health indicators in the categories of risk behaviors, health outcomes, community environment and health policies.

    Overall, the health of the nation has increased 17% since 1990, driven in part by smoking-reduction programs. However, overall improvement has slowed in the past five years to just 0.2% annually, according to the report. The slowdown is driven in part by the growing prevalence of obesity, which has increased 97% since 1990, according to George Benjamin of the American Public Health Association, which sponsors the study.

    Currently, 22.8% of the population has a body mass index of 30 or higher, up from 22.1% last year. Another factor that has slowed improvement is the U.S. infant mortality rate, which last year rose for the first time in 40 years from 6.9 deaths to seven deaths in the first year of life for every 1,000 live births, according to the report. Overall, infant mortality in the United States has fallen 31% since 1990. The U.S now ranks 28th worldwide in infant mortality rates. The report also identifies high rates of uninsured, declining high school graduation rates and increased child poverty as factors that are slowing health progress nationwide.

    Overall, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont ranked as the healthiest states in the nation, reflecting low rates of poverty and premature death, safer-than-average drivers and "generous spending" on public health programs, the Washington Post reports. Minnesota, which was ranked first, has held the top ranking for nine of the past 15 years.

    Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee were ranked at the bottom of the analysis, reflecting high rates of poverty, infant mortality and cancer, as well as large numbers of smokers and - with the exception of Tennessee - high rates of uninsured. According to the Post, there also were "wide variations" among states in many of the health measurements studied. Colorado and Hawaii had the lowest rates of obesity at 16%, while Mississippi and Alabama had the highest at 28%.

    Wide variations also were found among ethnic groups. For example, in the District of Columbia, for every 100,000 people, Blacks lost 19,000 years of life due to premature death, compared with 5,300 years for whites. In New Mexico, Hispanics lost 8,300 years compared with 7,100 for whites, while in Virginia, Hispanics lost 4,000 years compared with 6,400 for whites.

    Benjamin said that the finding that causes the greatest concern is the slowdown in improvement. He said, "Today, everybody has an interest in talking about health. But in some quarters there is more talk than action." Reed Tuckson of UHF said, "When we compare our infant mortality rate against other nations, it lets us know that we have much more distance to travel." He added, "We really hope this represents a call to action. Each state is unique, each has its own problems. The point is to address the problems where you live."

    The report is available online, however, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.

  2. Nisa

    Nisa Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jul 25, 2004
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    Some people don't understand how easyyyyyyyyyyyy it is to eat healthily. All this technology and crap, and people rushing all the time...and not having the time to cook is part of the problem. The other day I got 3 avocados, a big cucumber and a head of lettuce, for 1.49! a bag of brown rice for 69 cents and a head of broccoli for 50 cents. I mean taking the time to cook that..and the price is much cheaper than the price you have to pay for hospital bills and doctor's visits from gaining weight, getting high cholosterol, and triple bypass surgeries because Burger King was more convenient for you.
    The cause of the infant mortality rate..maybe a result of...not eating properly...the toxins of eating the wrong food...crossing the placenta and getting into the baby's blood supply. I don't understand why women aren't getting prenatal care. I also think there needs to be a law where you cannot sell alcohol or liquor to a pregnant woman. Okay if someone else buys it for them, that's their problem. But as far as stores, the government needs to regulate that.
    Something needs to be done about this ASAP...What is wrong with our governement?