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Essay 2 - The opening sentence of Paper Assignment#2...

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The opening sentence of Paper Assignment #2 says, “Critical Medical Anthropology can be defined as examining how political and economic processes affect disease, illness, and poor health.” It is quite obvious that the world we live in is run by the political and economical processes, making Medical Anthropology a key player in world society. According to Bezruchka and Mary Anne Mercer, the basic necessities of life are “adequate food, clothing, sanitation, housing, and health care.” All of these necessities can be directly related to a countries economical and political strength. The amount of money a country has is a major factor in determining the health of its people. Much of the world lacks the ability to provide any of the necessities crucial to leading a healthy life. There are 3 billion people living on less than two dollars a day (Bezruchka, Mercer p.12). Obviously, the two dollars a day doesn’t go towards healthcare. It goes towards food, water, shelter, and the absolute essentials that these people need in order to just get by. Now, I’m not saying that if a country has an enormous amount of money that it will be healthier. The United States has almost 50% of the world’s wealth, and only 6% of the population. The U.S. also accounts for close to half of the world’s spending on health. In 2003, the United States spent $1.7 trillion on healthcare. Even though we spend this large chunk of money on healthcare, the U.S. is ranked behind 25 other wealthy countries in life expectancy (Bezruchka, Mercer p.12). How is it possible that the United States has so much wealth, but low life expectancy compared to other wealthy countries? Individual behaviors play a major part in good health. Because of our economical strength, the United States tends to be reckless. Americans spend a huge chunk of their income on providing adequate income for themselves and their families. However, these same people can also be seen spending their money on cigarettes and fast food. It has been known that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, and diseases related to obesity are making their way to the top of the list. According to the CDC, in a 2003-2004 survey, 32.9% of Americans were overweight or obese. This
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