Americans living longer but unhealthier lives

WTF 2012 American Health Ranking 12.11.12

Americans are living longer but unhealthier lives, according to a study released by the United Health Foundation. 

The annual “American Health Ranking” found that while the country’s health care system is “extremely adept at treating illness and disease” to prolong lifespans, Americans are suffering from poorer health largely due to their own lifestyle choices.

Many of the serious diseases plaguing Americans today – such as obesity and diabetes – are preventable if people choose to exercise more, consume less junk food and soda, and not smoke.

Read more: America weighs in at F (as in Fat)

The study, like many before it, warned about the nation’s obesity epidemic. About 66 million (or nearly 28%) of American adults are obese. To give some perspective on the scale of those numbers, the study noted that 66 million is “more than the entire population of the United Kingdom.”

The study attributed the nation’s expanding waistlines to a “combination of sedentary behavior and poor diet”.

Read more: 5 disturbing facts about America’s obesity epidemic

These behavior choices have serious negative impacts on people’s health. Studies have shown that obesity will increase a person’s risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Not surprisingly, the 5 least healthy states listed in the American Health Ranking – Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, and South Carolina – also have some of the highest obesity rates.

 

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