A recent study
found that Europeans are currently outliving Americans by 18 months, and contributing culprits appear to be smoking and obesity, both preventable conditions. Researchers compared the average life span in the United States with the average age of death in Western European countries that included Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. That same study found that the United States could close the gap by reducing rates of obesity and obesity-related chronic illness including diabetes and hypertension.
Prevention of these chronic conditions would also pay off economically, potentially saving $17,791 per person in health care costs. These researchers also projected that by 2050, health care savings from gradual middle-age health improvements could surpass $1.1 trillion. Medicare and Medicaid alone could save $632 billion!
The American Nurses Association's SmartBrief reported that nursing will experience robust job growth through 2018 as our country focuses on wellness and preventive medicine. This article
acknowledges that nurses are particularly adept at addressing poor lifestyle choices like bad diet and smoking.
The National Nursing Network Organization
encourages you to support HR 1119 The National Nurse Act of 2011
to provide nurses and the public with a prominent, visible nurse leader for health promotion and disease prevention. Nurses don't just take care of sick people, they take care of well people to make sure they don't get sick!
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, September 26, 2011