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Can I expect to live longer than my parents did?

A team of scientists supported by the National Institute on Aging report that over the next few decades, life expectancy for the average American could decline by as much as five years. This would be the first sustained drop in life expectancy in the United States in the modern era, and the most likely cause is obesity.

Obesity in U.S. adults has increased 50 percent per decade since 1980. The severely obese live an average of 20 years less than the non-obese. More than 20 other developed nations, including France, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, have a higher average life expectancy than the U.S. The people who are most likely to maintain a healthful weight are those who exercise and control their calorie intake by limiting fatty foods and refined carbohydrates.

New England Journal of Medicine, March 17, 2005

Checked 10/30/05

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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