Canadians are healthier than Americans, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Americans are 42 percent more likely than Canadians to have diabetes, 32 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and 12 percent more likely to have arthritis…
Coming hard on the heels of a highly crediblestudy showing that Americans are much sicker than Britons, the new comparison should give US policymakers pause. Comprehensive health care coverage in Canada may be a factor, but I suspect that much of the difference may relate to these two facts:
- About 21 percent of Americans said they were obese, compared with 15 percent of Canadians.
- And about 13.5 percent of the Americans admitted to a sedentary lifestyle, versus 6.5 percent of Canadians.
But can policies make a difference in obesity and physical activity? You bet.
Great post! I haven’t seen the British study, so I can’t comment on that. However, I can offer my persinal perspective on the Canadian health care system, as I accessed it for several years. I had my daughter in Vancouver, and all medical care was entirely free—including my midwife, who offered me herbal tea and an opportunity to recline on a very comfy chaise lounge gratis. I had an emergency C Section, which also was free. I stayed in a private room and I felt like I was on vacation in the hospital. So my quality of care was very good. However, I did need to bring extra pillows and I did not eat a candlelit steak dinner on the evening my my child’s arrival, as did my sister, who had her child in Central Missouri. My daughter saw an orthopaedic specialist for several months after her birth, which also was free. I was able to choose any doctor I wanted in Vancouver who was accepting patients. Therefore, I was able to select a doctor who also had been a client of my midwife and therefore shared many of my concerns about medical care and development. We became friends.I digress, sort of. My point is all of this was free and immediately, easily accessible. No waitlists, no lines, no inconvenience.With thatin mind, I’d venture to guess that at least one of the reasons Canadians are healthier than us Yanks is because they can easily access quality, preventative health care at no charge. And because you can frequently see your family doctor for free, you develop a relationship. I do know that Canadians love poutine fish and chips, and beer, so there must be some obesity factor there (just teasing—had to slip that in). Canada, if you are seeking a spokeswoman for universal health care, look no further.
Kristin writes: “all medical care was entirely free” and “I had an emergency C-section, which was also free” and “My daughter saw an orthopaedic specialist for several months after her birth, which also was free” and “My point is all of this was free” etc., etc.Apparently Kristin didn’t pay Canadian taxes while she lived in Canada.