Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Americans Live Longer, Unhealthier Lives

The United States has a reputation around the world that is less than flattering. Many in other countries have a discriminate view of Americans; caricaturing them as fat, lazy, and unhealthy. While this may sting for an American to hear, new studies prove that as a whole, Americans are overweight, under-exercised, and very unhealthy.

This stigma is clearly supported in the recent reports, as many of the epidemic diseases Americans face are nearly completely avoidable. Diabetes, Obesity, and high blood pressure -- when not tied to an inherited trait -- can all be avoided altogether through healthy diet and exercise.

With an 18% drop in the rate of premature deaths in our country, the U.S. life expectancy grew to 78.5 years in 2009, the highest it has ever been. So why the epidemic of chronic and persistent -- avoidable -- diseases? The answer is: though our medical practices and treatments are saving lives and extending lifespans, Americans live unhealthy lifestyles throughout those long lives. These longer lives are filled with more and more treatments and diagnoses throughout individual's lives, however our medical practices are sufficient in keeping people alive and on treatments for extended periods of time.

The top two unhealthiest states were revealed today to be Mississippi and Louisiana. These states took the top spots due to their unreasonably high prevalence of  diabetes, obesity, and low birth weights; all diagnoses with definite links to poor diet and health choices.

The announcement that we as Americans are living longer than ever is a bittersweet announcement, as its bottom side states that American's health, in general, is on a shocking decline. Experts insist that the overwhelmingly bad bill of health for our country is undeniably attributed to poor health choices, and persist that these recent bad numbers are 100% reversible, if only we make the choice.

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