(DGIwire) Health and fitness are always at the top of the list when it comes to New Year Resolutions regardless of anyone’s age. That is the good news and also the bad news because overall health in America is going in the wrong direction.
Although you may hear that average life span in the United States is at a record high (78.75) we currently come in at number 53. Yes, there are 52 countries in the world today with higher average lifespan. This is even more surprising and discouraging when considering that the U.S. spends more on healthcare than other developed countries. In some cases much more.
According to a new study by the Global Burden of Disease, only Egypt (35.9%) has a higher percentage of obese citizens than America (33%), followed by Mexico (26.9%), Germany (24.3%) and Russia (24.1%).
Obesity and physical inactivity have risen in 2014 after some short-lived improvements in 2013. The obesity rate actually increased 7 percent from 27.6 percent to 29.4%. Think about it: Almost 30 percent of Americans are now obese. Over 70 percent of the population is now overweight. The number of people who said they did not engage in any sort of physical activity increased from 22.9 percent to 23.5 percent. These numbers are not encouraging. Obesity is considered a risk factor and is associated with many modern chronic diseases.
“As the obesity rate increases, it is inevitable that more people will suffer from chronic diseases which are totally avoidable if a proper diet and lifestyle is adopted. It’s never too late to start and even small positive changes provide measurable health benefits. Health is a personal responsibility and it is up to every individual to make the necessary changes. Modern healthcare is designed to treat medical conditions. Only diet and lifestyle changes have been shown to prevent these chronic diseases from happening in the first place. It’s true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and probably much more,” according to Tom Griesel, a health counselor and co-author of the book TurboCharged.
The good news is that the number of Americans who smoke declined 3 percent this year and the infant mortality rate declined by 4 percent. Cancer and cardiovascular deaths have also declined over the last 25 years. The steady decline in smoking rates coincides with these improvements. Cigarette smoking is associated with one out of every five deaths in America and is totally preventable.
Tom Griesel adds, “Even with these improvements, chronic diseases are still on the rise. The control of chronic disease is completely in the hands of each individual. Yet, without resolving to make changes such as choosing a healthier diet and increasing physical activity, these conditions will continue to compromise our quality of life, while driving healthcare costs higher.”
Most experts agree that the majority of these conditions–including osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, eczema, Crohn’s, depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, cancer and other debilitating dis-eases can be prevented or drastically improved by changes to our diet and lifestyle. Remember, as you make your New Year’s Resolutions–despite the advances in our medical system, diabetes rates have more than doubled in the last 20 years. Clearly something is wrong and it will be up to each of us individually to choose change; to choose health.