Check out this interview.
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Check out this interview.
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“Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?” asks Cassio in Othello. “Why he drinks you with facility your Dane dead, he gives your Hollander a vomit ere the next pottle can be filled,” Iago replies. Many countries—like many barflies—take perverse pride in their thirsts. Now, thanks to the the World Health Organization’s recent Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, we can actually find out which countries put away the most booze. The map below shows it graphically; it generated a lot of attention when it was picked up by the Huffington Post.
That’s the overwhelming conclusion of a new Gallup-Healthways survey based on telephone interviews with 173,581 employed Americans over the past year.
The first chart shows the toll that commuting takes on physical health. Americans with longer commutes suffer higher levels of back pain, higher cholesterol, and higher levels of obesity. (more…)
This chart from Gallup shows the dramatic growth in the percentage of Americans who want to see smoking banned in public venues.
A quarter or more of all adults are classified as obese in more than two-thirds of states. The fattest states are all in the South. Colorado, California, Montana, and Mid-Atlantic and New England states have the lowest rates of obesity.
Earlier this week, the American College of Sports Medicine released its new version of the American Fitness Index, which tracks the health and fitness level of America’s 50-largest metropolitan regions. The index is defined as a “composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access, and community resources and policies that support physical activity.” The table below shows the fitness levels for these 50 metros.
Source: American Fitness Index
Are we moving beyond the auto age? Writing in Esquire, Nate Silver provides hard statistical evidence that America’s once-overwhelming car-culture and driving habits have peaked. This article in Advertising Age (h/t: Patrick Adler) provides additional evidence that we may well be in the early stages of a reset in attitudes about driving and car ownership, especially among younger folks. Here are some key statistics from the article:
- “In 1978, nearly half of 16-year-olds and three-quarters of 17-year-olds in the U.S. had their driver’s licenses, according to Department of Transportation data. By 2008, the most recent year data was available, only 31 percent of 16-year-olds and 49 percent of 17-year-olds had licenses, with the decline accelerating rapidly since 1998.”
- “Twenty-somethings went from driving a disproportionate amount of the nation’s highway miles in 1995 to under-indexing for driving in 2009.”
- “It’s not just new drivers driving less. The share of automobile miles driven by people ages 21 to 30 in the U.S. fell to 13.7 percent in 2009 from 18.3 percent in 2001 and 20.8 percent in 1995.”
The National Bureau of Economic Research says we’re not out of the recessionary woods yet, though some think the economy is looking up. Floyd Norris of the Times, for one, thinks the numbers are pointed in the right direction. (More over at The Atlantic Wire). Restaurants certainly seem to be rebounding.
Today, I stumbled across another intriguing indicator. It’s called the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity – LIRA for short. Produced regularly by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the index measures “national homeowner spending on improvements for the current quarter and subsequent three quarters,” and aims to track “future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement industry.” The graph charts the trend. (more…)
“Why Ricky Martin’s Coming Out Wasn’t Big News” - Julia Baird’s recent Newsweek article – makes the important point that nations with more progressive attitudes toward homosexuality are also happier and healthier. She writes:
Still, while it may have been a wrenching decision for Martin personally, there was something refreshing about eye rolling replacing homophobic invective. We should want his coming out to not be a big deal in whichever country we might live in. New research shows that tolerance of homosexuality is likely to mean we live in a democratic, developed, wealthy country. It should also mean we live in a well-educated country. And it may well mean we live in a relatively happy country.
She kindly cites my own recent research with Charlotta Mellander and Peter Rentfrow on happiness, socioeconomic structures, and tolerance. And she quotes Will Wilkinson of the Cato Institute on findings from Ronald Ingelhart’s World Values Survey which looks closely at this issue. (more…)
Check out this map of the geography of Christianity in the United States. It’s one of a series of mind-blowing maps prepared by the brilliant cartographers behind the site FloatingSheep.The geographic pattern is striking.
“Catholics are most visible in much of the Northeast and Canada, with Lutherans taking the Midwest, Baptists the Southeast, and Mormons unsurprisingly taking much of the mountain states. Methodists, interestingly, seem to primarily be most visible in a thin red line between the Southern Baptists and everyone else.”
Now check out their map of Christianity in Europe, where they note the “fascinating split between Orthodox Eastern Europe, Protestant Germany, and Catholic everywhere else.” (more…)