April 25, 2007

FUNNY HOW THAT HAPPENS:


Eastern Europeans Happier and Healthier Under Capitalism
: Eastern Europeans are happier and healthier than ever before as a result of a better diet and economic success. Drinking and smoking less hasn't hurt either. (Der Spiegel, 4/26/07)

Slovaks, Czechs and Poles are healthier and happier than ever before, new studies show.

Life expectancy in Slovakia has increased to just over 70 years for men -- up from 67 in the 1980s -- according to new statistics from the country's Public Health Bureau, while the average life expectancy for Slovak women is now 77.9 years, up from a 1980s lifespan of some 75 years.

Reflecting increased awareness of health and diet, Slovaks are drinking less beer. Slovaks drank a mere 7.4 liters of pure alcohol per capita in 2003, slightly more than half of the 13.7 liters they each quaffed in 1991.

Poles, too, are living longer, to the ripe old age of almost 71 for men and 79 for women on average -- both about four years more than under Communism -- according to figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). One explanation for their longer lives could be that they are also smoking less. Back in the bleak 1980s, 15 million Poles smoked out of a population of 38 million -- now the country has a mere 8 million smokers.

Women in particular are taking better care of their health, getting check-ups more often, meaning health problems are being recognized earlier.

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Czechs too are happier than ever, with a massive 81 percent of the population describing themselves as satisfied. They too are living longer, with life expectancy figures similar to Poland, partly as a result of a healthier diet containing less fat and more vitamins.

"The increase in quality of life as a result of the booming economy and improved education has had a positive effect on people's state of health," comments Ivan Rovny, head of the Institute of Public Health in Bratislava,

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2007 11:54 AM
Comments

Anon, Gosh, just where are the people who are worse off on account of capitalism?

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 25, 2007 5:04 PM
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