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U.S. LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS -- FIRST TIME IN 20+ YEARS

U.S. LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS -- FIRST TIME IN 20+ YEARS

EXPERTS GIVE 5 REASONS FOR DROPS IN LIFE EXPECTANCY…..PLUS 5 SOLUTIONS

SILVER SPRING, MD – January 17, 2017 – As Americans focus on implementing their New Year’s resolutions, the motivating factor should be more than trimming one’s waist line.  People need to start exercising in order to stay alive.  For the first time since the early 1990s, life expectancy rates in the U.S. have declined.  In other words, Americans are not living as long as they used to live.  According to a recent story by National Public Radio, the statistics are sad and disturbing.

For children born in 2016, their life expectancy has dropped from 78.9 years to 78.8 years.  For the average man, his life expectancy has fallen from 76.5 years to 76.3 years.  For women, their life span is also on the decline – going from 81.3 years to 81.2 years.

Anne Case, an economist at Princeton University who was quoted in the National Public Radio story, has studied the connection between economics and health.  Her prognosis of the current health situation in the U.S. was brief and to the point.

“It’s pretty grim,” summarized Case.

The rising death rates are due to increases in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, drug abuse, and suicide, but the current level of physical inactivity in America also plays a major role.  Fortunately, physical inactivity is reversible.

In the words of a few noted medical professionals in the U.S., there are five key reasons for the drop in life expectancy and five key solutions to reversing the downward slide.  The main theme throughout is the role of physical activity and exercise. 

The following medical professionals are members of Doctors for PHIT America, all of whom believe that physical inactivity is the leading health issue of the 21st Century and that physical activity is the best prescription for total health.

REASONS FOR DECLINE IN LIFE EXPECTANCY + SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE IT:

Number One:

ISSUE:  Physical Inactivity Is Deadly -- “When schools started cutting physical education, it started the physical inactivity ‘time bomb.’  Our schools are no longer teaching the core principles of physical activity which were always taught in P.E. It is worth noting that the World Health Organization lists physical inactivity as the 4th leading cause of death in the world, ahead of obesity and being overweight.” – Dr. Jordan Metzl, sports medicine doctor, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery

SOLUTION:  We Need P.E. in Schools -- “It's vital that we put daily P.E. back in our schools – for all students from K-12. There are two ways children get active – at home in their neighborhoods with friends/family and what they learn and develop in schools. Putting daily, quality P.E. programs back in our schools is the best way to introduce all children to the fun and benefits of being physically active. And, exercise helps children perform better academically, as well.” – Dr. Jordan Metzl, MD, Sports Medicine Doctor, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery

Number Two:

ISSUE:  Inactivity Is Simply Unhealthy -- “Lack of movement leads to both physical and mental deterioration.” – James O. Hill, Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine, Director Center for Human Nutrition, Director of the Colorado Clinical Nutrition Research Unit

SOLUTION:  Physical Activity for a Lifetime -- “Americans are not getting enough physical activity.  That will change with a lifetime of exercise that starts at a young age, with daily physical education in our schools.” – Dr. Tim Church, Professor, Pennington Biomedical, Louisiana State University

Number Three:

ISSUE:  U.S. Is a Sick Care Society -- “Right now, the health care system in the U.S. is largely a sick care program.  It’s vital to emphasize true health care via prevention.  Exercise for all Americans and daily P.E. in schools for children are great and affordable forms of prevention.” -- Dr. Liz Joy, Adjunct Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine

SOLUTION:  Prevention Is Powerful -- “We must shift the focus of health care from chronic disease management to the prevention of chronic diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure.  To that end, we must put more emphasis on promoting regular physical activity, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and stress management – and put less on the use of medicine and surgeries.  Physical activity must become a major national priority.  Health care systems and providers need to play a key role.  Exercise for all Americans and daily P.E. in schools for children are great and affordable forms of prevention.” -- Dr. Liz Joy, Adjunct Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine

Number Four:

ISSUE:  Poor Dietary Choices -- “Americans are simply eating too much unhealthy food, which contributes to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.” – Dr. Tim Church, Professor, Pennington Biomedical, Louisiana State University

SOLUTION:  Sweat To Survive -- “We need a physically active America and it’s vital that we get people moving.  Physical activity will help overcome four major causes of death – high blood pressure, high blood glucose, obesity and high cholesterol.”  -- Dr. Steven Blair, professor (retired), Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina

Number Five:

ISSUE:  Stress Is Deadly -- Stress is a key killer. Stress reduces life expectancy, but exercise is a great way to counter stress.” – Dr. Carrie Jaworski, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine

SOLUTION:  Get Physically Active -- “As a nation, we must change our health care program to be focused on prevention. We must put more emphasis on reducing the chance of sickness and health care issues by emphasizing exercise for all Americans.  Physical activity is a powerful form of prevention and should become a major national priority.  Also, we need Congress to pass pro physical activity legislation – like the PHIT Act.  The PHIT Act will let Americans better control their health care costs with a financial incentive to exercise.” – Dr. Carrie Jaworski, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

“It’s abundantly clear that when people don’t exercise, their health suffers,” says Jim Baugh, Founder, PHIT America.  “And, when people do exercise and lead physically active lives, their health thrives, which increases their life expectancy and their quality of life.”