People: Is Health or Human Rights More Fundamental For Living?

China seem to have bigger problems to deal with than obesity. (Image: ernop via Compfight cc)
China seem to have bigger problems to deal with than obesity. (Image: ernop via Compfight cc)

The New York Times and The Lancet both wrote interesting editorials this week about obesity and life expectancy in China.

NYT says:

“The life span of the average person in China in 1950 was 40 years; by 2011 it was around 76.”

So China’s industrialization and growth has been good for the overall health of the nation. Though as the Lancet points out, life expectancy isn’t the only indicator of health.

In fact, obesity is a growing problem in China, and a problem that the country really needs to address. I know this sounds preachy coming from an American, but China now comes in at #2 on the world obesity scale.

The Lancet makes a great conclusion:

“Committed action is needed with an emphasis on intersectorality, political engagement, and investment in preventive and treatment services.”

Maybe the United States needs to do the same?

But can China actually deal with obesity? They seem to have bigger problems to deal at hand. After all, they are #1 in abusing the human rights of their citizens.

Amnesty International reported in 2013:

“Muslims, Buddhists and Christians, who practiced their religion outside officially sanctioned channels, and Falun Gong practitioners, were tortured, harassed, arbitrarily detained, imprisoned and faced other serious restrictions on their right to freedom of religion.”

Human rights or health, China definitely has it’s work cut out fixing its people issues. I find it ironic they seem so concerned about health they even appointed a new department head to deal with the problem. But where is the department head for a human rights division? Oh that’s right it doesn’t exist but somehow this office still does. Hmmm…

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