Over the years, the life expectancy of an adult in the US has increased dramatically. It is almost a law of nature that with advances in medicine, nutrition, and public health (vaccinations, etc.) life expectancy increases over time. A decrease in life expectancy is a sign of something going seriously wrong.
The figure above is from a recently published paper titled, “Falling behind: life expectancy in US counties from 2000 to 2007 in an international context.” It shows changes in life expectancy for women from 1987 to 2007. You will note from the figure legend that the red on this map depicts counties in which the change was less than zero. That means that the life expectancy of women in those counties has decreased over the past two decades.
This comes on the heels of a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled, “F as in fat: How obesity threatens America’s future.” Here are a few tidbits:
- Colorado is the only state with an obesity rate below 20% (coming in at 19.8%)
- A state at 19.8% obesity would have had the highest rate in 1995
- No state has had a decline in the rate of obesity
- Over the past 15 years, rates of obesity have doubled in seven states and rates of diabetes have doubled in 10 states
We are experiencing a crisis – and we need to make some changes. There will be no single solution, rather we will have to change our behaviors, policies, environments, practices, etc.
What are you going to change today?