Living Longer but Enjoying it Less?

Americans live longer now than they did 20 years ago. That may be good news until you find out that living those extra years comes with more disability and discomfort than ever before according to a July 2013 online article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Christopher J.L. Murray, M.D., D.Phil., of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, and the U.S. Burden of Disease Collaborators, studied the leading diseases, injuries, and risk factors associated with disease in the United States. Then they looked at how these disease and injury patterns changed from 1990 to 2010.


U.S. life expectancy rose from 75.2 to 78.2 and the healthy life expectancy increased from 65.8 to 68.1 years.


Wait a minute let’s dissect that a bit further. We can expect to live until we’re 78 years old but the last 10 years will be miserable?


Currently 50% of people receiving medical care fall into the chronic disability category due to mental and behavioral disorders, back and neck pain, other musculoskeletal disorders, anemia, vision and hearing loss and nervous system problems.


Is that what we have to look forward to for the last 10 years of our lives?


The ones dying before reaching that average life expectancy of 78 years old die from heart attacks, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and road injury (includes bicycle, motorcycle, motor vehicle, and pedestrian injury).


On top of that more people are dying prematurely of Alzheimer disease, drug use disorders, chronic kidney disease, kidney cancer, and injuries sustained from falling.


In 2010 people had lived the most number of years with these disabilities: low back pain, major depressive disorder, other musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, and anxiety disorders


Is all of this death and di-ease what we have to look forward to?


I say, “No way” IF we’re willing to take personal responsibility for our health.


Let’s create a Culture of Health instead of a culture of disease and death.


We can do it by making good choices, all the wonderful choices we talk about in these Be Wise-Health Wise articles and Let’s spread the word about healthy choices. Share healthy choices information with your friends and loved ones. Forward interesting uplifting health messages to them. Prepare health meals for them. Model healthy living.


What are the underlying causes of all this premature death and disability? The researchers of this JAMA article listed these causes:

Poor nutrition

Tobacco smoking

Obesity and overweight

High blood pressure

High fasting blood sugar

Physical inactivity

Alcohol use


Yes, our American lifestyle choices are killing us prematurely or causing us to live in miserable bodies.


And all of the “Obamacare” in the world will not fix us!


To turn the health of this nation around we have to rise up in rebellion. Rebel against disease-inducing food-like junk that most Americans eat by choosing to eat fresh locally grown food, organically raised if possible. American industry responds to what happens to the bottom line – the almighty dollar. If we stop buying the junk food, the food industry will wake up and supply the healthy food that we are buying.


We’re in charge of what happens to our bodies if we only wake up and realize what’s happening in the food industry. Convenience food isn’t very convenient when you realize that it generates misery in our bodies and minds that disables us from an active productive life and keeps us from unleashing the treasures deposited in each one of us that the world needs.


Then get moving. Have fun moving in your favorite way, dancing, biking, walking, swimming, hiking, etc.


Combine those two – good food and good fun moving and you will be better able to overcome the rest of the underlying causes of death and disability listed above!


So if you’re reading this and saying, “Oh yeah! That all sounds great!” but you don’t change anything that needs changing, is this information doing you any good? Only 3% of people are willing to change and I suspect if you’re reading this newsletter you are part of the 3 %.


Did you make major changes in your lifestyle at some point? If so, tell us your story in the comment section below. We would love to be encouraged by you.


Have you always lived a healthy lifestyle? Then tell us your story too! We can all learn from each other.


Let’s develop a Culture of Health in our country.



Dr. Jo


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

Similar Posts

Post a Comment