Life expectancy in the U.S. varies widely by region, in some places is decreasing
Large swaths of the United States are showing decreasing or stagnating life expectancy even as the nation’s overall longevity trend has continued upwards, according to a county-by-county study of life expectancy over two decades.In one-quarter of the country, girls born today may live shorter lives than their mothers, and the country as a whole is falling behind other industrialized nations in the march toward longer life, according to the study.
I think the contributing factors to declining life expectancy in the United States are:
- Increasing obesity, and obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, hypertension.
- Increased intake of processed foods-like substances laden with high fructose corn syrup, sodium, trans fat, preservatives, etc.
- Increasingly stress and anxiety for both men and women (entering the workforce) due to career and financial concerns.
- Increasing belief in and reliance on pharmaceutical drugs , rather than preventative measures through lifestyle choices.
- Increasingly sedentary forms of entertainment such as internet, gaming, and television replacing outdoor and physical activities.
- Increasingly prevalence of “work hard, play hard” lifestyle that involves greater alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
- Increased exposure to lead, mercury, and other heavy metals and toxic chemicals from industrial pollution.
I think, the more we believe in the ability of modern science to improve and lengthen our lives, the more we abandon old cultural values of moderation and restraint. The adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” seems to have been replaced by “an Adderall tonight makes everything alright”.