chapter  20
3 Pages

A Healthier United States

The United States is a superpower in which the improving health of many people has helped make it the wealthiest country in world history. This process of becoming healthier has been measured through averaged-out indicators on rising life expectancy and declining disease rates. For health-food faddists, "health" may refer to granola, yogurt, or food that doesn't taste good. Then there are the various ideas suggested by such terms as "mental health," "environmental health," and "preventive medicine" or "preventive health." More broadly, health has also been used to refer to well-being. This suggests a combination of satisfactory, exhilarating, benign, and relaxing feelings and activities. Let's put it this way:

The health of a nation is advanced when every person has the opportunity to fully enjoy, exercise, and utilize under the rule of law all his or her human rights-civil and political, economic, social, and cultural, and environmental -in an atmosphere free from monopoly and open or tacit sexism, racism, religious prejudice, and homophobia.