Definitions are worth discussing to help understand each other

Definitions are something I include in posts and discuss in more detail occasionally in order to help support clear understanding. Words have many meanings for different individuals in addition to a standard dictionary definition. The dictionary is a good place to start but even it can add confusion for some readers as the definition itself may use other unfamiliar terms or may simply use a slightly different form of the word as the main definition – which wouldn’t be helpful at all for the person who didn’t know anything about the word they were trying to look up.

I just updated a recent post with a lengthier discussion of the definition of racism as defined by a online dictionary and I added some supporting articles and statistics from other websites. See this article for the discussion of racism as part of national policies that discriminate: http://transcendingsquare.com/2017/10/21/what-is-racist-is-unfair-housing-and-food-policies/

The phrase transparency is used occasionally in relation to government agencies and politicians being clear and transparent about the goals and inner workings of policy and political agendas. Starting with definitions can help add clarity and possibly transparency to a discussion, as long as the underlying policy and political agenda truly is based on the stated definitions.

Saying one thing and meaning or believing another would not be an example of transparency but would instead be an example of outright lying or might be an example of someone who really didn’t understand themselves or their group’s true definitions or beliefs about a topic.

I recently looked into what was meant by the term “Developed Nation” and was very sad to find out that it is simply based on the average per capita income – how much the average salary is for a country. How many of the average people have healthy air, water, sanitation or actual health wasn’t included. Social development of access to schools also was not included. Number of people with access to good roads and safe infrastructure (physical development) also wasn’t included. The physical safety of citizens and freedom to speak openly about policy was not included in the definition. Instead a simple GDP financial number is used to suggest which countries are more “developed” than others. http://www.investopedia.com/updates/top-developing-countries/

The Social Progress Index is a different way to compare nations than only comparing the average income. The 2017 map shows the U.S. as being in the second tier: https://www.socialprogressindex.com/ . So by that criteria the U.S. is not as well developed of a nation in Social Progress factors, such as health and quality of life, as some other nations.

Definitions are important because they affect communication and how we discuss topics.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes

Several nutrients are involved in heart disease

Whether nutrient deficiencies or other metabolic imbalance is the cause is not clear or it may be a response to oxidative stress, however levels of the trace nutrients magnesium, selenium, zinc, and vitamin D3 were found to be low and the level of calcium elevated in myocardium, a type of muscle tissue in the heart. [1]

  1. Karl T. Weber,1,* William B. Weglicki,2 and Robert U. Simpson3 Macro- and micronutrient dyshomeostasis in the adverse structural remodelling of myocardium, Cardiovasc Res. 2009 Feb 15; 81(3): 500–508.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

What is racist is unfair housing and food policies

Additional note – 11/1/17 – it was brought to my attention that at least one person thought I was trying to redefine “racism” by bringing up economic differences and there was a suggestion to check the dictionary instead. that person may not have checked the dictionary however because the definition at dictionary.com includes national policy that discriminates against some racial groups at the benefit of other groups as part of the definition of racism. Hatred for a racial group and stereotyping expectations about all members of a group based on a certain expected ‘profile’ or stereotype of one type of person with the belief that it makes one group inferior and the other superior with a right to dominant over the alleged inferior group is also included in the definition. See “racism:” http://www.dictionary.com/browse/racism

Wealth inequality with differences between racial groups is real and has gotten worse over the last few years or decades. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/12/racial-wealth-gaps-great-recession/

While personal interviews suggest that people from African American or Hispanic groups feel they do have more opportunities to improve their economic future than their parents had, the actual economic differences on average between ethnic groups in the U.S. are very wide. People of white ethnic groups who were interviewed reported feeling they had less opportunity to improve their economic future than their parents. Looking at the numbers might make it clear where the true difference lies – how well off the different sets of parents were at is significant. A young adult of white ethnic groups would have as an average goal to achieve greater than $134,320 Median Household Wealth (I never achieved that myself,  so it is a very large average to try to meet let alone surpass for the average young adult just starting their career). A young adult of African American background would be trying to achieve greater than $11,030 Median Household Wealth and a young adult of Hispanic background would be trying to achieve greater than $13,730. Median Household Wealth represents not the household salary but the balance of income and savings to total debt load.  http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/24/news/economy/blacks-whites-inequality/index.html

For comparison purposes the U.S. poverty guidelines for 2017 are:

~~~~ original beginning:

Chronic illness tends to be more of a risk for people living in low income areas which tend to be located near industry or agricultural areas. And our food supply also tends to harm those with less money as processed inexpensive food may be more available in low income and some urban areas than healthier fresh fruits and vegetables.

Read more about processed food and health risks: https://foodtank.com/news/2017/10/ipes-health-costs-industrial-food/

Chronic illness and poverty in Canadian population shows that even with a nationalized health care system the lower the socio-economic bracket a person is in, on average, the lower their expected lifespan may be and they are more likely to develop chronic diseases. One province with lower obesity and smoking rates did have lower chronic illness and reduced mortality rates compared to other areas even with the difference in socio-economic brackets: https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2009/oct/pdf/08_0254.pdf

The trend is seen in Australia also: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1743-8462-1-8

And in the U.S.:  https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/10/30/americans-in-poverty-at-greater-risk-for-chronic-health-problems

Poverty itself can make life more complex and stressful due to too many bills and not enough money to pay any of them or due to challenges of transportation when public transport is the only option. Simply having more on one’s mind can make decisions and thinking more difficult for anyone based on research findings. Excess number of things to remember can slow down the thought processes for other tasks. Behavioral Economics 

Adequate health care is important but so is an adequate wholesome food supply and clean air and water. Racism is found in how we zone housing areas and distribute and charge for food and water and it affects health and lifespan – inequality is racist.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes