While Americans spend the most on health care of any industrialized nation, they also have one of the lowest life expectancies. Last year figures for healthcare spending reached $3.8 trillion but life expectancy on average is 79, as compared to 82 in Western Europe and the UK, and 83 in Japan.
Why is America doing so poorly but spending so much? The answer seems to be obesity. Indeed, according to a recent study undertaken by the OECD on wellbeing, out of Asia, the Americas and Europe, the US “is home to the most obese population,” as well as the most “underperforming students and second in murders and assaults.”
What America is high on the list for is its personal wealth and amount of rooms in each personal home, but vis-à-vis obesity, it is the country with the most problems. Unfortunately therefore it seems that the country’s Agriculture Department (which has been removing sugar and salt from school lunches) and Michelle Obama’s work is not having a strong enough impact.
It’s really a wasted opportunity that a country – potentially so rich – is shooting itself in the foot by not combating the obesity war.