Heather Callaghan, Contributor
The burgeoning “health” care industry has made people see themselves as sickly…
Researchers from Ohio State University had a hunch that the expansion of the medical industry has made people overall view themselves as unwell – in need of help. First psychologically, then physically.
For all the medical advancements, people are actually worse for the wear despite what the medical community itself will propagate (longer life expectancy, lower cancer rates etc). In this instance, one only need look around to see a thriving “sick care” industry, having nothing to do with reversing illness.
OSU researchers came up with some interesting analyses to determine if medical expansion has made people view themselves as unhealthy. (Does physical illness follow?) Interestingly, they also backhacked the study to see what life would be like if medical sprawl hadn’t take place.
Researchers featured in the July 2015 issue of the journal Social Science Research used several large multinational datasets to examine changes in how people rated their health between 1981 and 2007 and compared that to medical expansion in 28 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
So, did people feel healthier? Breathe a sigh of relief as the world of medicine expanded drastically during that time? Hui Zheng, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State, thinks not.
Access to more medicine and medical care doesn’t really improve our subjective health. For example, in the United States, the percentage of Americans reporting very good health decreased from 39 percent to 28 percent from 1982 to 2006.
Then, he did a “counterfactual analysis” using the data to see what would have happened if the medical industry hadn’t expanded at all in these countries since 1982. Health factors like economic development were left unchanged.
This analysis shows that self-rated health would have increased in these 28 countries. For example, the percentage of Americans reporting very good health could have increased by about 10 percent.
It seems counterintuitive, but that’s what the evidence shows. More medicine doesn’t lead to citizens feeling better about their health – it actually hurts,
It appears that perception has a lot to do with health. With hope, our readers will not let outside influence gaslight them into sickness, but boldly stand on their own two feet as much as possible. You have the right to be well.
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