Why do the Amish live healthier than other Americans?
One of the most fascinating aspects of the isolated Amish community in the United States is that they consistently appear to enjoy better health than the majority of other Americans despite the fact that they choose to abstain from modern medical advances. It has been noted that the Amish community experience significantly fewer cases of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes than the rest of the population. In addition to that, the spike in childhood cases of autism across the United States in recent years appears to have left the Amish community totally unaffected. What could be the cause of this curious anomaly?
It has been suggested that the Amish community experience health complaints at a similar rate to the general population but given that the community do not attend physicians or present at hospitals at the same rates, they are underrepresented in statistics. However, people who have visited Amish communities claim that this cannot be the entire story as the people there visibly enjoy better health than the average American community.
According to advocates of the anti-vaccination movement, it seems likely that the Amish enjoy these levels of good health because they opt out of all vaccinations because of their religious beliefs. Anti-vaccination campaigners point out that the CDC does not properly regulate the vaccine industry and permits the usage of toxic heavy metals, carcinogens and lethal preservatives such as mercury to be used in their manufacture. Many people believe that it is these chemicals which have led to the monumental spike in autism cases in the past decade. Recent statistics have shown that one in every sixty-eight American children has been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. Meanwhile, the Amish community experiences practically no cases of autism in their communities.
It is also possible that the Amish experience lower rates of autism in their communities because they have self-sustaining water supplies which are entirely uncontaminated by chemical compounds. According to a recent study in the Lancet, fluoride could be classified as a dangerous neurotoxin in the same bracket as arsenic and could very well be linked to cases of autism as well as a variety of other health problems.
Other theories suggest that the Amish have avoided so many of the modern American health problems because they abstain from eating genetically modified food and taking any modern pharmaceuticals. Others have suggested that it is the active lifestyle and the low-fat diet experienced by the average member of the Amish community that protects them from the common diseases that impact so many other Americans.
It could be the case that one of these factors is the most important, or it could be that it is the combination of all or some of them that ensure that the Amish enjoy such a high level of good health. However, given the vested interests, the US government have in protecting the reputation of the pharmaceutical and food companies it seems very unlikely that the state would commission any large scale research project that would get to the bottom of this curious mystery.