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Old 03-14-2011, 09:19 AM
 
2,289 posts, read 3,934,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticGermanicPride View Post
and yet our average life expectancy is comparable to europe's. so either we're not as fat and unhealthy of a population as everybody thinks or our health care is significantly better in that it can keep such a supposedly fat country alive for as long as europeans.
It's only true if you treat the EU as a whole and do not differentiate between Eastern and Western Europe. Almost every Western Europe country has a life expectancy at birth significantly higher than the US: Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, Germany, UK, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland. Only Denmark and Portugal are comparable.

The EU as a whole has comparable life expectancy only because of the poorer countries of Eastern Europe -- Albania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary...
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,126,475 times
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My cousins from Australia visisted a few years ago and were shocked at how wide the roads and highways are in the U.S. They were also shocked at how much space people had in their yards and how big houses are in general. Also, they went shopping at Stop & Shop (a grocery store chain in New England) and couldn't believe how massive it was. They said they could spend an entire day shopping in there lol. Finally, they were shocked at how lush, green and densely forested the U.S. was (of course, this was in Connecticut, however).

They also couldn't believe how big the food portions were at restaurants.

Basically, everything in the U.S. is supersized.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:27 AM
 
1,807 posts, read 2,533,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
The EU as a whole has comparable life expectancy only because of the poorer countries of Eastern Europe -- Albania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary...
Well, ok, so let's get rid of the Southern states, and then make the comparison with Western Europe.

This is one of the #1 things I noticed about people in Ireland: they just didn't understand how big our country is, and didn't understand how our system works. They would ask why we can't fix healthcare as if it were as easy as Obama snapping his fingers. In fact, I met a political science professor who was shocked to learn "how much power Congress has."

I would always explain it like this: when you (an Irish citizen) pay taxes, where does it go? The answer is, of course, Dublin. We file-- essentially-- two different returns, one to the feds and one to the state. Plenty of people live in low-tax states, and the lack of taxes is reflected in the quality of services they get back (medical care, schools, et al.)

If you compare *any* state north of the Mason-Dixon line to *any* country in Western Europe, you start to actually have a fair comparison.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,807,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
Two weeks ago I was in DFW airport and I saw the same "au bon pain" outlet we've got in the Paris subway!
Last Summer I was in the Hong Kong airport and saw something that shows how small the world has become: The most crowded and longest lines were at Burger King. Mind you, these are not Western (American) tourists but rather long lines of Asian customers. Then again, that's not a surprise to me because you can't swing a dead cat in Hong Kong without hitting a McDonald's, Starbucks, 7-Eleven or Circle K (or, as the locals call it: "O"-K)
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
253 posts, read 497,669 times
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The biggest "shock" (if you will) to me has always been the amount of energy used per capita in the US. by that I mean fossil fuels as well as electricity (mostly nuclear). Energy is cheap in the US and unfortunatelly that translates into careless use (waste). The tendency to supersize everything (homes, cars etc) doesn't help. Another thing I find a bit sad is the massive use of things such as styrofoam cups, plastic plates and cutlery etc even in decent middle class hotels for example. There is still not much of an effort to significanty reduce waste. Sure, recycling is getting more and more common but surely not creating waste in the first place is the much better option. Why have drinks in aluminum cans in your fridge at home instead of bottled drinks? Why bottles that are only used once instead of ones that can be re-used. etc? This may sound strange to some but for someone who has lived in Europe most of his live this is very noticable. Here people don't want an espresso from a paper cup or a beer in a plastic cup. At our bierfests you get a proper glas or stein and pay a deposit that you get back when you return it. Same for plates and cuttlery. This may sound like a minor thing to many but it reflects a mindset that is not too concerned about waisting precious resources (in my opinion).
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC NoVA
1,105 posts, read 1,948,252 times
Reputation: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
It's only true if you treat the EU as a whole and do not differentiate between Eastern and Western Europe. Almost every Western Europe country has a life expectancy at birth significantly higher than the US: Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, Germany, UK, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland. Only Denmark and Portugal are comparable.

The EU as a whole has comparable life expectancy only because of the poorer countries of Eastern Europe -- Albania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary...
it's really not that much different, especially when you factor in how unhealthy we supposedly are. usually, if someone is so unhealthy, arteries clogging with grease, the life expectancy difference would be a lot greater than the 1-2 years western europe has on the us currently. if the us can keep a 300 pound fatty chomping on burger king alive for within 1-2 years of a 160 pound european, then that is great.

Last edited by CelticGermanicPride; 03-14-2011 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:06 PM
 
Location: MN
3,798 posts, read 8,170,886 times
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I have a friend named Marco who is from France and has lived in Spain and UK.

He is grossed out by American women, especially at how fat they are. He also says that American women dress like slobs and most women wear things that most in Europe wouldnt even leave the house in.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
11,449 posts, read 14,314,845 times
Reputation: 6904
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan_from_Germany View Post
The biggest "shock" (if you will) to me has always been the amount of energy used per capita in the US. by that I mean fossil fuels as well as electricity (mostly nuclear). Energy is cheap in the US and unfortunatelly that translates into careless use (waste). The tendency to supersize everything (homes, cars etc) doesn't help. Another thing I find a bit sad is the massive use of things such as styrofoam cups, plastic plates and cutlery etc even in decent middle class hotels for example. There is still not much of an effort to significanty reduce waste. Sure, recycling is getting more and more common but surely not creating waste in the first place is the much better option. Why have drinks in aluminum cans in your fridge at home instead of bottled drinks? Why bottles that are only used once instead of ones that can be re-used. etc? This may sound strange to some but for someone who has lived in Europe most of his live this is very noticable. Here people don't want an espresso from a paper cup or a beer in a plastic cup. At our bierfests you get a proper glas or stein and pay a deposit that you get back when you return it. Same for plates and cuttlery. This may sound like a minor thing to many but it reflects a mindset that is not too concerned about waisting precious resources (in my opinion).
Good post.
I lived in Germany for 18 years (Siegen and Frankfurt) and know that recycling is common with containers (glass, cardboard, plastic) in neighborhoods. Much of the styrofoam is used for fast foods, Americans eat a lot of fast foods. Recycling is very limited in America. In my city I have yet to see any recycling containers.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
11,449 posts, read 14,314,845 times
Reputation: 6904
Quote:
Originally Posted by knke0204 View Post
I have a friend named Marco who is from France and has lived in Spain and UK.

He is grossed out by American women, especially at how fat they are. He also says that American women dress like slobs and most women wear things that most in Europe wouldnt even leave the house in.
The best part are the one who wear athletic training suits. With all that fat it's easy to see they don't train at all.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:02 PM
 
Location: MN
3,798 posts, read 8,170,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visvaldis View Post
The best part are the one who wear athletic training suits. With all that fat it's easy to see they don't train at all.

OMG yes!

What's with women wearing Yoga pants, when they're clearly not any type of yoga enthusiast? I don't want to see all that flab packaged tightly into that small space. yeesh.
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