Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

22 December 2016

American Lifespan Declines as Obesity and Opioid Epidemic Takes Its Toll

American Lifespan Declines as Obesity and Opioid Epidemic Takes Its Toll
by Dr. Mercola, 21 December 2016

Story at-a-glance

  • For the first time in two decades, life expectancy has declined in the U.S. — a consequence of obesity and rising rates of eight leading causes of death, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia and opioid addiction
  • The decline in life expectancy is primarily caused by a rise in several categories of preventable deaths, highlighting the failure of the American health care system to properly address the root causes of chronic disease
  • Half of Americans are living with chronic illness, and the cost of health care now accounts for 17 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product

For the first time in two decades, life expectancy has declined in the U.S.1,2,3 Obesity appears to have a major role along with the rising rates of eight leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia, the latter of which rose by 15.7 percent rise between 2014 and 2015.

The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show life expectancy for both men and women in the U.S. dropped between 2014 and 2015, from 76.5 years in 2014 to 76.3 in 2015 for men, and from 81.3 to 81.2 for women.

As noted by BBC News:4 "A decline of 0.1 years in life expectancy means people are dying, on average, a little over a month earlier — or two months earlier for men."

Rises in Preventable Deaths Push Life Expectancy Downward

In all, there were 86,212 more deaths in 2015 compared to 2014, and as of 2015, the U.S. ranks 29th out of 43 countries for life expectancy,5 lagging behind countries like Chile, Costa Rica, Slovenia, Korea and the Czech Republic. In 2014, the U.S. ranked 28th.6

Moreover, according to Dr. Peter Muennig, a professor of health policy and management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, this decline in life expectancy is a "uniquely American phenomenon." No other developed countries experienced this decline.

Dr. Jiaquan Xu, the report's lead author, noted that the decline in life expectancy is primarily caused by a rise in several categories of preventable deaths,7 again highlighting the failure of the American health care system to properly address the root causes of chronic disease.

More Than Half of All Americans Are Chronically Ill

The cost of health care in the U.S. also increased over the past year, now accounting for an astounding 17 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).8 But even though the U.S. spends more than $3 trillion on health care each year, it is the worst performing system ranked by multiple aspects of care.9

Recent research also demonstrates half of Americans are living with chronic illness.10I don't know about you, but I find this statistic absolutely astounding. Half the people in the U.S have some type of chronic illness.

According to study authors Elizabeth Reisinger Walker, Ph.D., an assistant research professor, and Dr. Benjamin Druss, professor at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University:11

"The health of individuals in the [USA] is increasingly being defined by complexity and multi-morbidity, the co-occurrence of two or more chronic medical conditions."

Opioid Addiction Likely Part of Declining Life Expectancy in US

Opioid addiction appears to be one significant contributor to declining life expectancy in the U.S.12,13 In all, more than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, a rise of 11 percent from 2014.

Heroin deaths rose by 23 percent between 2014 and 2015, deaths from synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, rose by 73 percent, while deaths from prescription opioids like Oxycontin and Vicodin rose by 4 percent. Prescription pain killers alone killed 17,536 people last year.

According to Robert Anderson, who oversees death statistics at the CDC: "I don't think we've ever seen anything like this. Certainly not in modern times."

US Anti-Obesity Campaign Declared a Failure

As noted in a 2014 study,14 childhood obesity worsened between 1999 and 2012. This included all classes of obesity, but in particular severe obesity, which poses the greatest risk to a child long-term.

Now, another CDC report concludes that America's battle against the bulge — and especially childhood obesity — has indeed failed.15 According to CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden:16

"The data speak for themselves. If you look for the goal we set for ourselves, and look at what happened, we didn't achieve it."

Rather than lowering obesity rates for toddlers and children, the obesity rate has grown since 2009 (the year Frieden was appointed to the CDC), and now exceeds 17 percent.

This also refutes any claims that First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, launched in 2010, has made a dent in childhood obesity. It has been a miserable failure because it never integrated foundational nutrition advice due to corporate conflicts.

Her campaign unwisely focused on exercise rather than addressing children's diets. According to recent research, nearly 60 percent, in fact of the food Americans eat is ultra-processed, and less than 1 percent of daily calories comes from vegetables.17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24

Basically, more than half of what the average American eats in any given day are convenience foods that can be bought at your local gas station. Moreover, those ultra-processed foods account for 90 percent of the added sugar consumption in the U.S.

This kind of diet is hardly going to result in healthy children, and until this changes, we're not going to see any dramatic improvement in childhood obesity or childhood disease rates.

Sadly, the failure of Obama's anti-obesity campaign was the result of massive interference and manipulation by the junk food industry, discussed in my article, "How the First Lady's Organic Garden Became a Junk Food Campaign."

United Nations Calls Out Junk Food as Real Culprit in Malnutrition

Continue reading:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/12/21/obesity-opioid-role-american-declining-lifespan.aspx

No comments:

Post a Comment