Women's Reversal of Fortunes
Friday, July 27, 2012
A study by the Harvard School of Public
Health and the University of Washington in 2008 suggested that women are
experiencing a life expectancy Reversal of Fortune.
This study suggests that one out of every five women in the U.S has a shorter life expectancy today than they had in the 1980s. The decline is blamed on a dramatic increase in chronic diseases related to lifestyle, including smoking, nutrient deficiency, obesity, and high blood pressure.I wrote this original column in 2008, and unfortunately, women's life expectancy has not improved in the past three years. The sad truth is that these diseases are mostly preventable with completely affordable lifestyle changes that include smoking cessation, nutrient-dense dietary intake, mealtime portion control, and exercise.
Data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services suggest that U.S healthcare costs have doubled every seven years since 1960. Yet, those whom these services were designed to protect did not equally benefit from life expectancy gains because the healthcare playing field is increasingly tilted in favor of those who can afford private health insurance, and those numbers are dropping on a daily basis.
According to Medicare & Medicaid Services, the U.S. national health expenditure grew 6.7 percent in 2006 to $2.1 trillion ($7, 026 per person). That amounts to a mind-boggling 16 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The national health expenditure in 1980 was $1,100 per person, or 9.1 percent of the GDP at that time.
The U.S. will spend $2.5 trillion dollars on health care this year,
and healthcare spending is projected to exceed $4 trillion by 2017.
This is due to a pharmaceutical drug focused healthcare system that
treats symptoms and ignores the cause of disease; the tobacco industry;
and the food industry that accepts no responsibility for the disease
epidemics clearly linked to overly-processed super-sized, empty
calorie, fast foods.
The current U.S. healthcare program is not working, and it’s certainly not sustainable.
Amazingly, other countries still manage to achieve longer life
expectancies than the United States, while paying a mere fraction of
the U.S. healthcare cost per capita.
Individually, we can change this paradigm by staying out of the center of the supermarket where the junk and overly processed foods live, getting more exercise, and committing to become responsible for our own health and well being.
No one else is going to do it for us.
Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Biosyntrx Chief Research Officer
In case we have not made it perfectly clear, we strongly believe that nutritional supplements should support dietary intake and act as an insurance policy to guarantee that we receive all of the nutrients we need on a daily basis for OPTIMAL health. Rarely do we ingest the variety of nutrients our bodies require to prevent degenerative disease on a daily basis from overly processed and empty calorie junk food, or from fruits and vegetables that are picked green, shipped around the world and chemically ripened.
Addendum: My precious, and always up for an adventure, mother died this week with late-onset Alzheimer's. Her brain was harvested for a Columbia University long-term study on genetic risk factor for the disease. After decades of searching, five Alzheimer's disease genes have been discovered and most scientists believe there could be a number of other key genes involved in the late-onset process. Fortunately for the world, 600 families like mine, who are genetically predisposed for Alzheimer's, volunteered to be part of a country-wide study providing more than 3,000 DNA samples.
Thanks to committed gene hunters and the generous folks involved in the Columbia University study who also donate their brains to science, future generations may be saved the horrors of watching the long, slow death of beloved parents.
It's important to note here that Macula Degeneration and Alzheimer's share many genes.
FYI: My nutrition science hero, Bruce Ames, PhD, strongly believes that even the slightest nutritional deficiency, over time, leads to DNA damage, mitochondrial decay and other pathologies associated with unfortunate genetic transcription. He advocates, "an optimum intake of micronutrients and metabolites, which varies with age and genetics, should tune up metabolism and markedly increase health at little cost compared to the cost of treating disease, particularly for the poor, obese, and elderly."
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