I got roughly a 50% on the Health Equity Quiz. I found the first question about where America’s life expectancy stood in comparison to other countries the most surprising, especially when I saw which countries were ahead of us. I always thought we were one of the highest. However I suppose if you think about how many obese Americans there are, these dangerous diseases, caused by poor diet and lack of exercise, start so seem a lot more hazardous to the public. This could explain why the life expectancy is down. as a whole, we are pretty unhealthy.
The episode “Collateral Damage” from Unnatural Causes, discussed the living conditions of people native to the Marshall Islands. The main island, less than a square mile and home to nearly 10,00 people has rates of Tuberculosis twenty-three times as high as the United States. Because so many of the inhabitants on the island are too poor to get to the hospital, there are people whose job is to make sure they take their medicine each day. TB is so prevalent in the Marshallese people because of their extreme levels of poverty, which causes most of the island malnourished. The video talks about how malnourishment is the key to TB, because it lowers the peoples ability to fight off the disease. Sadly TB is not the only disease to trouble the Marshallese people. There are many other diseases typical of poor urban areas.
This was not always common for the Marshallese. Before that, they hunted their own food and were self sustaining until the US came in. We saw the island as a crucial base, and worked to keep it to our selves. We moved most people off the island and to this day make most Marshallese commute there to work. Today there is a huge socioeconomic status difference between the island the base is found on and the island most of the Marshallese live on. The Marshallese experience malnutrition, water shortage, and many other hazardous conditions. Next, the episode talks about the 68 nuclear weapons that were set off causing radiation poisoning and the death of hundreds of Marshallese natives. We may not see the complete results of the United States actions for years; what the U.S. did to these people is quite horrible. There are absolutely non genetic factors that effect the Marshallese people. In fact, I believe all of their troubles are a result of what the U.S. forced them to do. Their lives are completely different than the way they would have been had the U.S. not interfered.