Are you ready to hear this again? Americans are fat and getting fatter. In overall health and life expectancy the US lags behind Europe and other developed countries. One study describes the State of US Health as improving but not nearly as quickly as in other wealthy countries. Americans can expect to live longer with more disabilities than their european peers. We spend more per capita on health but still suffer from diseases caused by our poor lifestyles: lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking and high body mass index. During the time period of 1985 to 2010 women’s longevity did not increase at all while men’s only increased by a measly 5% placing the US 27th among the 34 countries considered to be our peers.
There is some good news: Americans are more physically active and in fact, there are more Americans getting enough physical exercise than there were 10 years ago. But it’s not enough to make a dent in our obesity levels. While activity levels rise, so do obesity levels. What’s the deal? According to a study conducted at the University of Washington the gap appears to be that while we may be more active, we are still eating too much! Portion sized have increased dramatically, both in restaurants and at home since the early 1970s and the food we eat is loaded with fat, sugar and salt.
The answer: Change your diet and eat less. The effects of our poor diet combined with smoking, excess alcohol and lack of exercise lead to ever increasing rates of diabetes. Tests can identify pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome to let you know how far down the path you are. Taking steps now and reverse pre-diabetes adding healthy years to your life. Yes, we’ve lowered deaths by heart attack since 1990, but the rise of diabetes worries health professionals.
In 2010, 678,282 Americans died due to dietary risks, the study said. High blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood sugar and high cholesterol claimed 1.4 million others. “If the U.S. can make progress with dietary risk factors, physical exercise and obesity, it will see massive reductions in [premature] death and disability,” said Ali Mokdad, a University of Washington professor who worked on the studies.
It’s time America! Improve your diet or pay the price.