Big thanks to Marc Chung for forwarding this along. Visual Economics has put together a huge visual comparison of the cost of health care from around the world. What you see above is a snippet of just the top of the comparison, the full page graphic (mirror link) is packed full of more details.
Some of the highlights are:
- Avg annual cost of health care per capita is about $3,000 in most of the modern world, but almost $5,800 in the US. Switzerland, Iceland and France just cracked $3,000 as the 2nd highest with the US almost double that and everyone else between $2,200 and $2,900.
- The US’s infant mortality rate is the highest.
- The US’s life expectancy is the lowest.
Could this all be related to our obsession with food and growing obesity problem? And then if you decide “yes”, then the next question is “What causes our obsession with food?”
UPDATE #2: To clarify, I’m not blaming the infant mortality rate on obesity, I did a poor job clarifying that. I was addressing the overarching issue of the US’s expensive health care.
I would go out on a limb and say that our lifestyle creates a high-pressure environment that is ripe for addictive relationships with substances that bring moments of tranquility – food and drugs equal here, but highly satiating foods are much more accessible and accepted than highly satiating drugs.
What are American’s missing that would help them cope with stress more constructively? I’m not asking what would be better (e.g. exercise) but rather, what is it about our lives that creates this hole we so consistently feel a need to fill?