U.S. ranks 68th on health and wellness compared to 133 developed nations

The U.S. ranked 68th for the category “Health and Wellness” in a comparison of 133 developed nations. That ranks in the lower half of the group. Economically the U.S. ranks within the top few nations and ranks in the top in many of the other categories that were assessed. However the Health and Wellness ranking or the U.S. is low in comparison not only to other nations but also to the U.S. ranking for many of the other 53 categories that were used to assess a nation’s ‘social progress,’ — suggesting that the healthcare strategies that have already been in use or were recently implemented in the U.S. in an effort to improve the health and wellness of U.S. citizens need to be reviewed and redesigned if we hope to achieve better results.


We may be able to afford ineffective health care over the short term of a few sickly generations but we can’t afford ineffective health care for ever. Somebody has to remain healthy enough to be able to take care of the increasing numbers of chronically ill people.

The globalization of markets has helped some workers while it may have left other groups less well off than they had been. Globally incomes have improved for groups of people in some areas of the world but have held stable or dropped in other areas. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/07/this-chart-reveals-the-most-dramatic-change-in-incomes-since-the-first-industrial-revolution?utm_content=bufferd61fe&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

In some categories used to assess social progress the U.S. has been dropping in comparison to other developed nations and we are now on par or worse than some third world nations including the area of ‘Health and Wellness.’  http://usuncut.com/class-war/america-third-world-country/

Male fertility in 1992 was estimated to be at a rate of 1710 births per 1000 males on average (or 1.7 children per male aged 15-44) and 1960 births per every 1000 females (or 1.9 children per female aged 15-44). https://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0014.pdf

However either fertility has decreased or the desire to father children has decreased because the rate of children fathered by men aged 15-44 years in 2002 was at a rate of 1.0 children per male and the rate dropped yet more to 0.9 children per male aged 15-44 years between 2006-2010.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr051.pdf

So in 1992 the average 15-44 year old male had 1.7 children while in 2002 the average 15-44 year old male in the U.S. had 1.0 children and between 2006-2010 the average male aged 15-44 years old only had 0.9 children.

It might seem like everything is for sale in a capitalist nation but — you can’t buy health and while you might be able to buy fertility treatments and in vitro fertilization it turns out that nature has ways we are only beginning to discover. In vitro fertilization (egg meets sperm in a test tube) may leave the child with DNA from the male’s mitochondria which wouldn’t be as likely to occur during natural fertilization. Few of the male mitochondria enter the egg during normal fertilization and the egg has ways to destroy any male mitochondria that are able to enter. Normally only the maternal mitochondrial DNA is left in a newly fertilized zygote. (The first new life form is a single celled egg/sperm combo called the zygote.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternal_mtDNA_transmission

Excess male mitochondria may be involved in some cases of male infertility.  http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

The markers that help an egg identify male mitochondria for destruction may be species specific according to research performed with lab animals. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC41980/pdf/pnas01486-0478.pdf

We don’t know what we don’t know — until we learn it — and we are learning that we can’t really pollute our environment and food supply with estrogen mimetics and other toxic additives, herbicides and pesticides, if we hope to have “Health and Wellness”. As U.S. citizens we are constitutionally supposed to have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Health and wellness – and the ability to have children naturally – seems like part of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Should ‘corporate people’ have a right to profit off human citizen’s ability (or inability) to procreate or should ‘corporate people’ have a right to profit off a human citizen’s right to decide how they deliver their baby or how they feed their baby? Would it be fair to the non-corporate people (formerly known as humans) if the government ruled that all infants will be conceived in a test tube; and will be delivered by C-section; and will be fed exclusively with formula; or will be fed exclusively by breast milk whether the mother is able to or not?

Part of “health and wellness” might be the freedom to make individual choices based on individual differences. Some regulations protect the corporate ‘right to access to the consumer’ more than they protect the consumer’s right to access safe products and services. Midwives have been harassed for centuries and even burned as witches while medical schools and medical associations are regulated as safe providers of maternal care. History has shown that men didn’t wash their hands even after being told that it was causing increased maternal deaths due to infections. The pioneering doctor that tried to get other doctors to wash their hands was harassed during his own career for his work — but his name lives on in textbooks though, at least, (Ignaz Semmelweis). Midwives knew about sanitation but it took a male doctor ruining his career to get other male doctors to eventually start washing their hands in between attending pregnant women.

Hand washing helped promote improved “Health and Wellness” in the U.S. and elsewhere but it took a while to catch on. What other health practices are needed? We won’t know if we continue to not listen to pioneering scientists. Currently alternative information frequently is being dismissed as “debunked” or “Quack,” but history revealed that Ignaz Semmelweis was not the quack and likely the midwives who were burned as witches didn’t quack either. (A Monty Python reference is hiding there for Monty Python fans.)

So if we want America to continue to be great than we need to review and redesign our nation’s strategies for promoting individual health and wellness because whatever we’re doing hasn’t been very effective while it has been costing us more than other developed nations — and health and wellness includes the ability to have healthy children.

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.