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The difference between the US and the UK is the polution.


Tsss. The REAL reason the British are healthier is they have better comedy! :)


Having lived as an American in the UK for 10 years, I can say hands down that living in America is far more stressful then living in the US. To put it in a nutshell, the UK (at least outside of London; in fact I'd like to see a survey that compared London with the rest of England!) people work to save money for vacations. In the US people take vacations to find ways of saving/making more money. NOTE: The "normal" paid vacation time is 4weeks minimum. Professionals get 6 to 8 weeks. Talk about stress relief!

kate q

So much depends on what you're actually measuring.


Americans are sicker, work harder and get paid less?!?

The United Kingdom's National Minimum Wage is nearly double the minimum wage of most US States!

And in a couple of months, the UK National Minimum Wage will increase by 30 pence to £5.35 GBP ($10.16 USD).

Most people in the UK get paid much more than the minimum wage... even manual/unskilled work.

A British 13/14 year old paperboy wouldn't even get out of bed for America's minimum wage.

Brian K

I lived in Britain for 2 years as a missionary for my church, so I have seen both sides of the fence. A few points I noted during that time.

1. Almost every ailment in the UK except for extreme things like cancer or a broken leg was treated with either pills or creme, most of which were generic antibiotics or pain killers.

2.Like others have noted, the wait lists for diagnostics and other complex procedures was quite long.

3.On the other hand the billing structure in the US is such that it almost encourages higher spending because, as someone mentioned above there is a whole CYA attiude in America due to our litigious society.

4.The activity level in the UK is much more conducive to a healthy overall lifestyle. It is not uncommon to take public transit there, even in smaller towns and cities, and because a good portion of the shopping and commerce in each metro area is concentrated in the downtown center of the city, this transit can be coordinated so that the majority of people can get to and from work, shopping and home quite easily. Once at the high street people will take care of their business by walking from place to place. Contrast this with the US where we get in our car and drive to one store, then hop back in and head to the next strip mall, etc.

5.Dining habits in the US are very poor compared with the UK. Everything here is Supersized or an AYCE buffett. While I was in Britain I believe I found only maybe 1 or 2 AYCE places with the exception of Pizza Hut. It is also much more traditional to cook meals at home, and pack lunches for work. Eating out is generally a treat that is done maybe twice a week. Heck, their idea of fast food (before McDonalds and friends took over) is fish and chips, or a pie or pasty. I also found that soft drinks are consumed at a much lower rate than here in the US.

So overall the British have a healthier lifestyle but Americans have better access to healthcare for more serious issues. It is a tradeoff either way and I think both countries can learn from each other.

On a sidenote about the post above, although the UK minimum wage is higher, I found that most things cost the same in pounds as in dollars. In other words an item in the US that costs 5 dollars typically costs 5 pounds in the UK. So although the pound is worth more in exchange, the real buying power is the same.


Too many facts would have been discovered on comparision between the two jiants of the world. USA and UK.

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  • I'm a writer for the New Yorker magazine, and the author of four books, "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference", "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" and "Outliers: The Story of Success." My latest book, "What the Dog Saw" is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker. I was born in England, and raised in southwestern Ontario in Canada. Now I live in New York City.

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