Over a quarter of US kids on food stamps, under-50s dying young – reports
Almost 20 million children out of 73.9 million under the age of 18 were in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, in 2011, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture and US Census Bureau.Moreover, children accounted for 45 per cent of aid receivers. The number of people using the food stamp program has been on a rise, since 2009 about 15.5 million more individuals have been added to SNAP.Latest data released for the month of October 2012 shows the drastic increase with one in 6.5 Americans using SNAP, while in the 1970s only one in 50 were part of the program. Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions argues that US is not working towards any real solutions for the problem.“It has become sadly clear that Agriculture Secretary Vilsack wishes to make welfare part of the normal American experience, with no regard for social or economic consequences,” Sessions told The Daily Caller.Americans have lowest probability of surviving till 50Also, new evidence revealed that younger generation of US citizens (those under 50) die earlier and have poorer health than their counterparts in other developed nations, according to a new study of health and longevity in US.US men ranked last in life expectancy among the 17 countries in the study, and American women as second to last. The 378-page report by a panel of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council was based on a broad review of mortality and health studies and statistics and included other countries such as, Canada, Japan, Australia, France, Germany and Spain.More specifically, US male deaths before the age of 50 account for two-thirds of the difference in life expectancy when compared to their counterparts in other countries and about one-third of the difference for females. Americans have also a higher rate of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction.“Something fundamental is going wrong,” chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Steven Woolf told the New York Times. “Something at the core is causing the US to slip behind these other high-income countries. And it’s getting worse.”The rate of firearm homicides was 20 times higher in the US than in the other countries, according to the report.The US also had the second-highest death rate from the most common form of heart disease and the second-highest death rate from lung disease. Americans even had the lowest probability of surviving till the age of 50. The study attempts to explain such low results by highlighting American disjointed healthcare system with a large number of uninsured citizens and high levels of poverty in the country as possible reasons for the outcome.These realities have taken their toll on the US annual rankings of World’s Happiest Countries as US has slipped from 10th to 12th place for the first time in the six-year history of the Legatum Institute‘s Prosperity Index. The US is now behind Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries, including Norway, Denmark and Sweden, which ranked top three in the index.