Average global life expectancy is now 70.4 years; 73.3 for women and 67.5 for men.
Life expectancy has gone up significantly in places like Iran, Bangladesh, the Maldives, South America and Africa, where the increase has been of 13 years or more, compared to previous decades. North America, Western Europe and Australasia have seen a modest increase of 7 plus years.
The rise in life expectancy has been possible thanks to the improvement in health programs and the control/cure of many infectious diseases that ended up in death, especially in young children.
But, there are places where the rise has been negligible like Eastern Europe, with an average increase of just 1 year. Other places have even experienced a decline in life expectancy. Such is the case of Lesotho and Belarus, which have seen a rise in HIV and alcoholism, respectively.
According to a report published by The Lancet, although we live longer now, the quality of life has declined due to the rise in obesity and its consequences: diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions.
According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most states have become healthier in terms of physical activity for the years between 2001 and 2007, excluding Louisiana and Mississippi which have less than 40% of healthy residents.
The CDC defines as “healthy people” those who engage in moderate-intensity physical activity at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day, or those who engage in vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week for 20 minutes a day.
It is interesting to note, though, that data displayed on these maps tells a different story than data for the obesity rate in the United States. As we showed on a previous post, the obesity rate in the U.S. has been rising steadily since at least 1991. There is a clear contradiction between the rise in obesity rates and the rise in the percentage of healthy people.
Obesity Trends Among US Adults 1991-2010
(BMI ≥ 30 lbs, or 30 lbs overweight for 5’4″ women)
Obesity has increased dramatically in the last twenty years. Mississippi has the highest percentage of obese adults, 34.9 %, followed by other twelve states with percentages higher than 30%. Most of these states are located in the Midwest and South. Is your state among the “fattest” states? Read more:
STUDY: Mississippi Is The Fattest State – Ian Simpson, Reuters [Business Insider]