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Longevity and Healthy Aging (Part II)

Posted Aug 24 2008 4:07pm

This is the 2 nd part in a series from a lecture I attended on longevity and healthy aging. In the first part, I discussed how having a long life does not necessarily correlate to having a healthy one.



Here are some facts about Americans:



- We have excessive calorie intake.

- 27% of adults are obese

- 61% of adults are overweight

- Here is the disturbing statistic.....9 million kids over the age of 6 are obese



The Center for disease control published a study called " Obesity Trends among U.S. Adults between 1985 and 2005 ." Go look at the link with the maps associated with it.....you will be stunned. There are state by state trends on obesity and it is very startling. In the last 20 years America woke up and was fat.



Why is this particularly important? Because of the impact on kids. A typical child born in 2000 has a 30-40% chance of developing type 2 diabetes.... Also, in a previous blog, I mentioned that if things do not change, this generation being born now will be the first one in the history of humanity that will have a shorter life expectancy than the previous one.



There are three social dimensions to how these obesity trends relate to kids:

- More of a trend of have two working parents and therefore more fast food being consumed in the sake of convenience.

- PE programs are being removed from school.

- There are more vending machines in schools selling non-nutritional snacks (largely to help get more $$ back into schools to with ever increasing budgets).

- The physical layout of communities has changed. We are driving more and more and walking less to places.



Interestingly, there are also problems with how our food supply and how it is structured in the United States. We have large government subsidies for foods that are high calorie, low nutrient value (wheat, corn, etc). In fact, we used to define malnutrition based upon caloric intake instead of like now which is nutrient based.



So what can we do about this?



For adults, there are great nutritionally based weight loss programs . In most diets, we restrict our food intake and as a result lose protein in our diet and loose muscle. That is why your weight boomerangs back after we go off of a diet. Not on this one though.



For kids, turn off the TV, offer healthy snacks, and kick the kids out of the house to play. Here is a great kids vitamin supplement to help ensure they get all of the nutrients they need.



In the next blog on this lecture, I will talk about specific recommendations from the National Institute of Health on healthy aging.



Do you have any ideas or suggestions on healthy aging? Please comment!

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