How to Narrow Your “Lifespan Gap”
Americans spend more than twice as much, per person, on healthcare than any other developed nation. Yet Americans don’t live longer. According to government figures, Americans rank 51st in lifespan… behind countries such as Greece, Jordan and Bosnia.
Different groups have done a lot of arguing about the cause of this “lifespan gap.” But a recent study shed some real light on the problem. Today, let’s look at that study… and at three easy ways you can narrow the gap for yourself.
As you probably know, a country’s “average” lifespan includes everyone who’s born and dies there. So, where infant mortality is high, the average lifespan is low… even if everyone who survives childhood lives to 100.
A clever researcher at the University of Pennsylvania used this fact to break down data from the US. And she discovered that deaths before the age of 50 made up two-thirds of the difference between the lifespan here and in longer-lived countries.1
In other words, if you make it past 50, your chances of a long life get a whole lot better.
But the researcher went further and looked at the causes of death. And discovered that many of the most common factors in deaths under 50 are entirely preventable.
Three brand-new studies have brought some of these preventable causes to light. Here’s what they are… and how you can cut your risk.
When it comes to killers, this one’s everywhere. And, according to research presented to a recent American Heart Association (AHA) symposium, it contributed to 2.3 million deaths in 2010.2
It’s salt… and it an analysis of 20 years of health data shows it plays a big part in deaths from heart trouble. In the U.S., it was linked to 10% of all heart-related deaths in 2010. But you can avoid it pretty easily.
Avoid most packaged foods and restaurant meals, both of which are high in sodium. Prepare most of your meals at home, from fresh ingredients. Not only will your food taste better, your heart will be healthier for it, too.
The second culprit is even easier to avoid.
A second analysis from the AHA gathering pointed its finger at another favorite: sugary drinks. Based on the available data, a Harvard University researcher calculates sugary sodas and fruit juice drinks accounted for 184,000 deaths in 2010 alone.3
If you drink sugar-sweetened beverages at all, chances are you drink too much. The AHA recommends getting no more than 450 calories a week from these drinks. That’s just three 12-ounce cans of soda per week.
But it’s easy to replace sugary drinks. Try decaffeinated iced green tea… or even plain water with a twist of lemon or lime for flavor.
Our third culprit is a growing – and dangerous trend. Energy drinks. Most are loaded with both caffeine and sugar. And jumbo-sized cans are the order of the day.
Researchers have recently linked energy drinks to higher blood pressure and potentially fatal irregular heartbeats. And even just one can could lead to problems with your heart’s rhythm.4
When it comes to your lifespan, there’s a lot you can’t control. But these are three risk factors you can. Avoid them, and your chances of living a longer, healthier life go up.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Ho, J.Y., “Mortality Under Age 50 Accounts For Much Of The Fact That US Life Expectancy Lags That Of Other High-Income Countries,” Health Aff. Mar 2013; 32(3): 459-467.
2 “Eating Too Much Salt Led to 2.3 Million Heart-Related Deaths Worldwide in 2010,” Science Daily. Mar 21, 2013.
3 “Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Linked to About 180,000 Deaths Annually,” Scitechdaily.com. Mar 25, 2013.
4 “Energy drinks may increase blood pressure, disturb heart rhythm,” American Heart Association. Mar 21, 2013 .