Health Lifestyles in the U.S. and Canada: Are We Really So Different?
Patrick M. Krueger, University of Texas at Houston
Tajudaullah Bhaloo, University of Texas at Houston
Pauline Rosenau, University of Texas at Houston
Some research suggests that social, political and cultural life in the U.S. and Canada are growing divergent. We use health lifestyle theories to extend prior research and compare the U.S. and Canada on population health indicators. The population health indicators include health behaviors, fertility and cause-specific mortality for each of the United States (and Washington, D.C.) and Canadian provinces and territories (N=64). Canada and the U.S. are significantly different on many health lifestyle variables. But levels of the health lifestyle variables converge at the U.S./Canada border, and some U.S. states and Canadian provinces or territories exhibit similar health lifestyle patterns, regardless of whether they share an international border (these are mapped in the paper). Although Canada and the U.S. differ on major population health indicators, some states, provinces and territories exhibit marked similarities. Our paper concludes with a discussion about how a comparative perspective might inform population health policies.