Life-expectancy and chronic disease

Life expectancy rates have been declining in many areas of the United States. A recent posting in The Wall Street Journal (click here) looked at a report stating that even if the United States provided universal health care it still would not solve the declining rates of life expectancy. The biggest problem that needs more attention is preventing chronic disease. Preventative measures such as eating healthy and exercising can reduce the risk of developing dozens of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, anxiety, high cholesterol, metabolic disease, certain cancers, and the list could go on. Generally people understand that a healthy lifestyle is important to maintain but the maintenance part is the trick. How do you convince someone who is extremely overweight or at risk of developing diabetes that changing their comfortable lifestyle is going to help save their life in the long run? It is a struggle to get people to see that the lifestyle choices they make today may not have an effect on them for another 2 to 10 years. The reality is that long term poor lifestyle habits are causing a decline in life expectancy. More effort should be put into slowing their progression down.

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