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The Health Divide Between America And Europe

Kay Newton March 2023

Simplicity & Connection Thought Leader –  Kay Newton

Have you ever had a two-minute conversation which leads you down a rabbit hole of exploration and incredulity?

“Focus on the issues tends to tackle overeating and lack of exercise.”

There is a huge divide between the USA and the EU concerning health,” said my medical practitioner before I travelled to the US in the summer of 2022. I knew a little about food and the personal/household product chemical industry, yet I did not know how wide the gap was between both sides of the pond. Here is what I found.

The US is currently the world leader in obesity and other chronic illnesses. Focus on the issues tends to tackle overeating and lack of exercise. Rarely is the focus on the quality of the food or other related concepts such as the environment.

Perhaps your midlife muffin top is not a symptom of menopause. Weight gain, sweating, and overheating may be symptoms of a toxic body burden created over the past 50+ years living the Western way. Your body cannot eliminate all toxicity, which goes to the liver. Therefore, in midlife, your liver may not be working effectively.

The Europe/America Food Health Divide:

The food divide is such a deep topic and requires more than just this article, yet let me give you a small introduction. On my visit to the States, I was fascinated to see that a bag of simple breakfast oats could be so different from home. Oats bought here in Spain contain just one ingredient – oats (and I can buy mine wrapped in paper or cardboard, not plastic). The same oats in the States may have six or more ingredients listed on the toxic plastic packet.

The reasons for the differences are complicated and based on how companies can produce goods. Europe has a ‘better to be safe than sorry’ model, removing products from sale if ‘there is reason to believe’ they may cause harm. Whereas the US follows the policy of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ In other words, we will produce whatever we feel is suitable and when/if the consumer gets ill, they can file a lawsuit and see who wins. 

The bottom line, no matter where we are in the world, we have forgotten there is an interconnection between the food supply, our health, and the environment. Producing non-natural food without realizing the implications for the entire planet is a serious misdemeanour.  

“In the States, the FDA has banned/limited just nine chemicals from personal products, whereas the EU have banned/limited over 1,600.”

I highly recommend you read Jennifer Shores’ article for a better understanding.

Environment – Personal and Cleaning Products:

In 2020, the 55 US poison control centres provided telephone guidance for over 2.1 million human poison exposures. 23.1% of the substances implicated were cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products. In the States, the FDA has banned/limited just nine chemicals from personal products, whereas the EU has banned/limited over 1,600. No, that is not a typing error. 

As with the food industry, the US and EU have different policies and standards. We can all find general information that tells us old buildings with asbestos may create body inflammation. Bud did you know, fragrances are known to cause irritation and internal organ damage. And, chemicals that repel water or grease can lead to hypertension, heart disease, and some cancers.

US And EU Health Divide Differences:

Parabens used in toothpaste, shampoo, and moisturizers are known to be endocrine disruptors inhibiting normal hormone functions. Fire retardants may cause thyroid issues. Yet, you will still have to look closely to see the US and EU differences.

For example, midlife is when women begin to dye their hair and start getting new physical symptoms. Hair dye can seep through the skin and cause harm. Are your symptoms associated with menopause actually chemical poisoning?

Hair dyes in the US contain toxic chemicals harmful to health and the environment. Lilial, borates, and dye colours are all banned in Europe due to reproductive toxicity and its effects on aquatic life. Yet when you dye your hair in the US or the EU, possible toxic poisoning or saving fish may not be on your mind.

How do we change this current health divide?

Three Things To Do Immediately:

  1. Awareness. It is vital to read the labels on any product. If you do not know what it is, find out before you buy. (My general rule of thumb is – If I cannot say it, I do not pay for it!) Or, use a site such as https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ that can guide you. 
  2. Due Diligence. Do your research and apply what works in your life – do not believe a word I say! We are all unique and function differently. One size does not fit all, and if you want to make the next 50 years the healthiest, then now is the time to do the work. 
  3. Move from the US to the EU, and if that is not possible, come and join me at the Menopause Summit on 17th March 2023. Get your FREE tickets here!

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Kay Newton

About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include: 

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.