Quiz: Which Makes People Healthier -- Big Government or Strong Communities?

Here's how to make both Republicans and Democrats happy.  A new study has found that big government AND communities both make people healthier.

“Some people might like the argument that liberal government automatically leads to healthier people, because it supports their world view,” newswise.com quotes Mitchel Herian, a faculty fellow with University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Public Policy Center and lead researcher on the new study. “But, in the absence of a liberal government, you also see better levels of health if you have a strong community.”

“When government programs are in place, people tend to be healthier," adds Ed Diener of the University of Illinois. "But when government programs are weaker, a person with lots of close ties and social capital can still be healthy. Their wife can get them to exercise, their friends can help them not drink too much, and their support for each other may directly affect their health. Loneliness is bad for health.”

The study found that states with high levels of liberalism and those with high levels of social trust have higher levels of health and well-being. 
Health and well-being was measured with questions from a behavior risk survey that asked respondents to rate their health and to report how frequently poor physical or mental health prevents them from carrying out daily activities. The researchers also took smoking habits and body mass index into consideration.
The conclusion? Strong communities can provide good health outcomes, but government social programs also have a strong connection to good health and can be necessary to serve more fragmented and isolated communities.





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