The U.S. is lagging behind other high income countries in life expectancy despite spending more on health care than any other country.
A new report from the National Research Council finds that Americans can expect to live shorter lives than in other industrialized countries. They council blames two things – smoking and obesity.
The popularity of smoking has gone way down in the last 20 years, but it was very popular from the 50’s and into the 80′. The effects of smoking are not realized until much later in life and we are seeing now that it is affecting the life expectancy of the baby boomer generation and beyond.
The other factor, obesity, is an obvious one. The U.S. has the third highest obesity rate in the world. Over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The only countries with higher rates of obesity are Kiribati and American Samoa.
See the list below and where the U.S. falls in life expectancy.
England and Wales 81.73
United States 80.78
England and Wales 77.46
United States 75.64