A Healthy Population Is Good For The Economy

A healthy population is good for a nation's economy; say researchers in the British Medical Journal.

Although it is now accepted that better health increases economic growth in poor countries, it was less clear that this would also be true in rich countries.

Therefore, the researchers examined the link between health and wealth in rich countries and found that healthier people are more productive at work, earn more, and spend more time in the labour force.

Substantial and consistent evidence from rich countries shows that healthier people have higher earnings, say Professor Martin McKee and colleagues. Other studies show that better health increases both the number of hours worked and the probability that an individual will be employed. In contrast, poor health increases the likelihood that someone will retire early.

Although some of these results may be subject to methodological problems, the overwhelming conclusion is that good health has benefits beyond the individual, say the authors.

But how does health affect the national economy?

The current economic wealth of rich countries owes much to previous health gains, they write. For example, about 30% of economic growth in the United Kingdom between 1790 and 1980 can be attributed to better health and dietary intake.

A study in 10 industrialised countries during the century to the mid-1990s also found that better health increased the rate of economic growth by about 30%.

More information is needed to track the contribution of health to economic development, they say. But it seems that better health, measured appropriately, may contribute substantially to economic growth in all countries.

~British Medical Journal, November 9, 2006


Health Depends Largely On Lifestyle

Proof Positive, Dr. Neil Nedley M.D. page 1,3,8

Many erroneously believe that inherited traits (genetic factors) are the primary factors determining their quality of life and how long they will live. For the vast majority of us, our health is primarily dependent on two other factors: 1) what we put into our bodies, and 2) what we do with our bodies. A simple word that encapsulates both of these concepts is “lifestyle”. The good news is that even though we cannot change our genetics, we can change our lifestyle. Those lifestyle choices can prevent or forestall the development of disease for which we are genetically predisposed. Regarding the most common diseases, Dr Lamont Murdoch of Loma Linda University School of Medicine has put it aptly: “faulty genetics loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.”

Just what are those lifestyle factors that will help us to live a longer life? Drs. Nedra Belloc and Lester Breslow were among the first researchers to present a convincing answer. In their classic study of nearly 7000 individuals living in Alameda County, California, they found that there were seven lifestyle factors that influenced how long people lived.1

The number of these habits that an individual followed made a trem-endous impact on their longevity. After nine years, the number of healthful lifestyle practices a person followed was directly related to the likelihood of dying.2

Notice that only about 5 percent of men and women who followed all seven health habits died in the nine year period compared to 12.3 to 20 percent who followed three habits or less.

Belloc and Breslow summarized their findings in these words: “These data are consistent with the idea…that a lifetime of good health practices produces good health and extends the period of relatively good physical health status by some 30 years.1

Following certain principles that result in good health is not a new concept. The Scriptures give much counsel that if we follow the principles of good health, diseases won't come upon us nearly as easy. But this old concept needs to be resurrected in our personal lives, across America and throughout the world.

1. Belloc NB, Breslow L. Relationship of physical heath status and health practices Prev. Med. 1972, Aug. 1 (3): 409-421
2. Breslow L, Enstrom JE. Persistence of health habits and their relationship to mortality. Prev Med 1980 Jul.9 (4): 469-483

Recipe of the Month

Madelene’s Muesli Slice

½ c honey
½ c peanut butter

Melt together then add:

1½ c toasted muesli
¼ c sultanas or raisins (optional)
1½ t carob powder (adjust to taste)

Press into pan and allow to cool. Cut into pieces and enjoy!