A glowing review by Henry March was published this month in UK paper NewStatesman of Michael Marmot’s book The Health Gap: the Challenge of an Unequal World. The review – and the book – highlights Marmot’s long-held view that mortality statistics are a question of inequity.
“If everyone in England over the age of 30 had the same low mortality as people with university education, there would be 202,000 fewer deaths before the age of 75 each year . . . 2.6 million extra years of life saved each year.” The reviewer quotes from Marmot’s book.
There has been much argument over the years, says Henry March, about how “health” should be defined. “One might scoff a little at the breadth of the World Health Organisation’s definition: “complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. But it is difficult to disagree with the underlying idea that good health is more than just the absence of disease.”
“We need to seek out the “cause of the causes”. Working-class people smoke more, have higher obesity rates, take less exercise and die younger as a result – but why? Those of a right-wing disposition might suggest that it is simply because they are feckless and have not exercised their free will to work hard and live healthy lives. But this, you realise as you read Marmot’s book, is the propaganda of the victors.”
Henry March is clearly convinced by this book; pronouncing it ‘splendid and necessary’.
Rrad the full review