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

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