America's Health (Dis)Advantage

The state of health care has been a topic of scrutiny and debate for years, especially since the U.S. spends so much on health care. A new infographic shows just how much worse the U.S. is doing compared to peer countries.

The state of health care has been a topic of scrutiny and debate for years, especially since the U.S. spends so much on health care. A new infographic from the site Master of Science in Nursing Degrees shows just how much worse the U.S. is doing compared to peer countries.

Out of 17 countries, the U.S. showed shorter life spans and more injuries and illness than people in similar high-income countries, according to

the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine

. The countries looked at in this analysis were Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

In America, the rate of obesity doubles that of its peers (33.8% to 16.9%). The rate of obesity in children (ages 5 to 17) is also incredibly high at approximately 35.4%. The next closes country is Ireland with an obesity rate of approximately 31.5%. Meanwhile in Japan, the obesity rate was approximately 15% and in the Netherlands it is around 16%.

These five countries spend the least per capita on health expenditures out of the 17 peer nations, but still have far healthier residents than the U.S. (List in order of least health expenditures per capita. The infographic appears on the last page.)

Helsinki

5. Finland

Per capita spending: $3,251

Health spending as % of GDP: 8.9%

Life expectancy as of 2007 (men): 75.86

Life expectancy as of 2007 (women): 82.86

Obese children (boys): 23.6%

Obese children (girls): 19.1%

Malaga. Copyright Kiban | Wikipedia.com

4. Spain

Per capita spending: $3,067

Health spending as % of GDP: 9.5%

Life expectancy as of 2007 (men): 77.62

Life expectancy as of 2007 (women): 84.03

Obese children (boys): 32.9%

Obese children (girls): 22.9%

Yokohama. Copyright Patrick Lydon.

3. Japan

Per capita spending: $3,035

Health spending as % of GDP: 9.5%

Life expectancy as of 2007 (men): 79.20

Life expectancy as of 2007 (women): 85.98

Obese children (boys): 16.2%

Obese children (girls): 14.4%

Amalfi. Wikipedia.com.

2. Italy

Per capita spending: $2,964

Health spending as % of GDP: 9.3%

Life expectancy as of 2007 (men): 78.82

Life expectancy as of 2007 (women): 84.09

Obese children (boys): 32.4%

Obese children (girls): 30.9%

Lisbon. Copyright H. Hoffmeister.

1. Portugal

Per capita spending: $2,728

Health spending as % of GDP: 10.7%

Life expectancy as of 2007 (men): 75.87

Life expectancy as of 2007 (women): 82.19

Obese children (boys): 23.5%

Obese children (girls): 21.6%

See the full infographic on the next page.

Click to enlarge

Image source: www.bestmasterofscienceinnursing.com