Monday, May 18, 2015

There is a common assumption that the future will be much like the past only bigger, that recent historical trends will simply continue, in particular that historical trends in health will continue to improve ...  .

Whilst it is notoriously difficult to make predictions, it is perplexing that we are so able to accept mere extrapolations of recent historical trends, including the unscientific projections of economists and demographers, but at the same time seem entirely unable to consider how our future will be affected by many known limitations and determinants of health.

The reason for changing the focus of this blog in largely in relation to attempts I have made to discuss this with media commentators, politicians and others who repeat these assertions that we will all live longer and health lives without question. The very notion that our future health may worsen is so foreign to most, that it is rejected out of hand. 

The flawed longevity assumption

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Differences in the prevalence of obesity continue to explain about 20–35 percent of the shortfall in U.S. life expectancy relative to countries with superior levels, even when one uses much lower sets of obesity risks.

(Published 2005) Over the next few decades, life expectancy for the average American could decline by as much as 5 years unless aggressive efforts are made to slow rising rates of obesity, according to a team of scientists supported in part by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).