Are red counties and states bad for your health?

jnpy!$4g3cwk

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Not exactly Science, but, the graphic showing where women's health is improving and not is interesting:



http://cdn.theatlantic.com/newsroom/img/posts/2014/01/FemaleMortalityRatesMapLG/99fd20794.jpg

Compare that to an election map:



Eye catching, but, besides that, this article on health is pretty eye-opening. Yes, U.S. life expectancy is improving, but, not nearly as fast as other developed countries, and, for some reason, the effect is more pronounced for women:



And, as you can see in the first map, there appears to be some level of correlation with the political leanings of the environment. Looks like the beginnings of a study or two.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/why-american-women-arent-living-as-long-as-they-should/282984/
 
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Desertrat

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Health is as much a cultural or sub-cultural issue as it is about health per se. The couch potatoes and Twinkies set votes as much blue as red, I imagine.

And, after all, red state/blue state is not any sign of homogeneity in voting or lifestyle.
 

SoAnyway

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Considering how much fast food and overweight people I see in red states in my travels, yes being in a red state is bad for people's health.
 

G51989

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Bad for your mental health? Of course.

But I suppose it does make sense at least in areas like the deep south, where the diet isn't exactly amazing. Even on a local food level.
 

Solomani

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Democrats are just as capable of being fat and lazy as the Republicans.

Although we must all concede that the vast majority of the vegan-vegitarian yoga-practicing health-conscious eco-gluten-free shop-at-Whole-Foods-Market hippies are more likely to vote Democrat than they are to listen to Rush Limbaugh.
 

G51989

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Democrats are just as capable of being fat and lazy as the Republicans.
I think this is true.

I think Red States being more unhealthy is just geographic and local culture. People in Texas, the deep south and midwest tend to follow a fried chicken and steak every single day diet. Which while yummy, leads to lots of problems.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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I think this is true.

I think Red States being more unhealthy is just geographic and local culture. People in Texas, the deep south and midwest tend to follow a fried chicken and steak every single day diet. Which while yummy, leads to lots of problems.
Exactly,

And I was under the impression that the map in the OP was about women's health, not health in general.

When I look at that map, especially when I focus on the states I've lived in and the states I have familiarity with, I see a big disparity in counties with larger low-income populations.
 

Solomani

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Exactly,

And I was under the impression that the map in the OP was about women's health, not health in general.

When I look at that map, especially when I focus on the states I've lived in and the states I have familiarity with, I see a big disparity in counties with larger low-income populations.
Poverty does have a lot of correlation with consumption of unhealthy (processed) foods as well as obesity. Studies have shown this. Low-income people in USA tend to be obese (yes, fat poor people, that's right) as well as having unhealthy diets. In the studies, low-income (poor) people will predictably go after foods that are "the-best-bang-for-the-buck". They only have so much money, so they spend it where the money can buy the most calories. So where do they end up? In fast food places like McDonald's and Carl's Junior. The fast food venues often offer good values, and MOST of them even have the "One Dollar Menu". For the low-income person, it makes financial sense.

In contrast, the "healthy outlets" like the health food shops (Trader Joe, Mothers Markets, Whole Foods, Sprouts) are often on the upscale and pricier range, sometimes more expensive than typical grocery chains. So who shops for the healthy foods at these pricey health food places? Well duh… those with good incomes and better educated, obviously. These health food grocers tend to be in wealthier neighborhoods, and they very rarely take food stamps.

So in the USA, low-income does have strong correlation with obesity, but also with poor diets. That's much different than in third world countries, where the poor people are…. bone-thin and starving.
 

palmerc2

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I personally have always eaten really well / healthy, and that has nothing to do with geographic location or whether I'm republican or democrat. I travel nearly every week, and there are healthy options available most of the time. What I notice is folks in some areas just don't care about what they eat. It's fatty, super sized, deep fried, etc. I've talked to these people, and they simply say they wouldn't have it any other way, that "the fancy food is too rich for my blood". So, it's just a difference in culture.

By the way, that map proves nothing that voting and health are somehow connected. That's absurd.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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Democrats are just as capable of being fat and lazy as the Republicans.

Although we must all concede that the vast majority of the vegan-vegitarian yoga-practicing health-conscious eco-gluten-free shop-at-Whole-Foods-Market hippies are more likely to vote Democrat than they are to listen to Rush Limbaugh.
I would also add that the vegan-vegetarian yoga-practicing health conscious Eco-gluten-free shop-at-whole-foods-market hippies are not necessarily healthier than anyone else either.
 

iJohnHenry

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Mar 22, 2008
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I've talked to these people, and they simply say they wouldn't have it any other way ...

By the way, that map proves nothing that voting and health are somehow connected. That's absurd.
You may have answered your own riddle.

What if the people in those states prefer things the way they are, in food and voting choices. Too lazy to contemplate a change.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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You may have answered your own riddle.

What if the people in those states prefer things the way they are, in food and voting choices. Too lazy to contemplate a change.
He didn't say those people were in red states necessarily, he just said some people don't care about what they eat.

Or are you trying to get at something else?
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

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By the way, that map proves nothing that voting and health are somehow connected. That's absurd.
I dunno. It is a correlation. I think women should seriously consider moving from a red county/state to a blue county/state. It could be anything-- maybe even the water. Science will figure it out eventually, but, in the meantime-- time to move! ;)
 

chown33

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I dunno. It is a correlation. I think women should seriously consider moving from a red county/state to a blue county/state. It could be anything-- maybe even the water. Science will figure it out eventually, but, in the meantime-- time to move! ;)
Moving before the science is done? Really? (I see the smiley, but I'm unclear if it applies to the whole post, or just the last sentence, or just the last clause "time to move".)

Personally, I'd rather see the actual underlying numbers correlated and then drawn as a chart, rather than eyeballing what seems to be at best a vague correlation. Note I'm not saying there isn't a correlation, just that eyeballing two pictures and then drawing conclusions is about as crappy a "not exactly science" methodology as you could get, short of throwing darts at a map while blindfolded.

Furthermore, there could be any number of reasons for why US life expectancy is moving down in the OECD rankings. Remember, "correlation is not causation".
 

G51989

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Furthermore, there could be any number of reasons for why US life expectancy is moving down in the OECD rankings. Remember, "correlation is not causation".
I think the biggest reason that US Life expectancy is stagnating or even moving down in some areas. Is rampant obesity. More and more rascal scooter fatties isn't good. They need to put down the chicken bucket and whole birthday cake and eat some fruit.



What is that, a swimming pool or a coffin?
 

chown33

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I think the biggest reason that US Life expectancy is stagnating or even moving down in some areas. Is rampant obesity. More and more rascal scooter fatties isn't good. They need to put down the chicken bucket and whole birthday cake and eat some fruit.
The life expectancy for US females is actually going up, not stagnating or going down. The posted graph shows it a little above 77 in 1980, and rising to nearly 81 in 2006.

It's only going down within the rankings of the "selected OECD countries". That is, it's not going up for US females at the same or higher rate as the countries being compared with. "Going down" isn't even close to "going up at a slower rate".
 

hulugu

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I think people need to go back and look at the OP.

The map comes, I believe, from this article about how life expectancy for women in the United States has either stagnated or declined.

If it was just a change in diet, you should expect to see a similar relationship, but women appear to be faring worse despite advances in medical care over the last generation.

As the article notes, according to a study by University of Wisconsin researchers, even as mortality fell in most U.S. counties, female mortality rates increased 42.8 percent between 1996 to 2006.

As for diet, I think it's not fast food versus whole foods, but rather a more complex relationship between time, knowledge, and effort.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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I think people need to go back and look at the OP.

The map comes, I believe, from this article about how life expectancy for women in the United States has either stagnated or declined.

If it was just a change in diet, you should expect to see a similar relationship, but women appear to be faring worse despite advances in medical care over the last generation.

As the article notes, according to a study by University of Wisconsin researchers, even as mortality fell in most U.S. counties, female mortality rates increased 42.8 percent between 1996 to 2006.

As for diet, I think it's not fast food versus whole foods, but rather a more complex relationship between time, knowledge, and effort.
The OP said it's a map of women's health, which in my world generally means the type of stuff an OBGyn provider offers.

But now that I read the last link, I see it's about life expectancy, which is health in general rather than health issues specific to women.
 

hulugu

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The OP said it's a map of women's health, which in my world generally means the type of stuff an OBGyn provider offers.
Yeah, I agree. My first thought was there was a correlation between the closure of women's health clinics because of anti-abortion laws and this decrease, but then I searched for The Atlantic article.

...But now that I read the last link, I see it's about life expectancy, which is health in general rather than health issues specific to women.
Women are seeing a decline in health compared to men. They're losing ground as a gender in terms of life expectancy, which is really interesting.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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Women are seeing a decline in health compared to men. They're losing ground as a gender in terms of life expectancy, which is really interesting.
Interesting indeed. Though I'm fairly sure I remember learning in Anthropology during undergrad that women's bodies are not as biologically stable as men's once they achieve menopause. That all things being equal they should be less likely to live as long based purely on this concept.

Perhaps (and it's just speculation on my part) chronic diseases and Cancer were sort of artificially leveling the playing field some. But now that we're getting good at treating and preventing many of those things, the trend is starting to manifest itself again?

Though that still doesn't address why this generation of women is projected to live shorter lives than their mothers did. I think type 2 Diabetes is a big chunk of that.
 

hulugu

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Interesting indeed. Though I'm fairly sure I remember learning in Anthropology during undergrad that women's bodies are not as biologically stable as men's once they achieve menopause. That all things being equal they should be less likely to live as long based purely on this concept.
I've never heard that before.

...Perhaps (and it's just speculation on my part) chronic diseases and Cancer were sort of artificially leveling the playing field some. But now that we're getting good at treating and preventing many of those things, the trend is starting to manifest itself again?
Possibly, though if you look at the study quoted within you'll see there are big correlations with education.

...Though that still doesn't address why this generation of women is projected to live shorter lives than their mothers did. I think type 2 Diabetes is a big chunk of that.
I would tend to agree. A rise of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease in women is certainly part of it, though the cause seems murkier according to the studies.