Americans’ life expectancy already falls more than 20 years behind other developed countries; and with U.S. obesity rates on a steady incline, the years may be further trailing.


Based on researchers’ calculations, by the middle of this century the increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer (faced by today’s obese youth in particular) could lower the average life expectancy of 77.6 years by as much as five years. That’s certainly a far cry from the 2002 Social Security Administration forecast that projected the maximum human life span to reach 100 in roughly six decades. Even more disheartening: The dramatic increase in childhood obesity may have erased anywhere from four to nine months off children’s lives already, according to researchers.

Two-thirds of America’s adults are overweight or obese. 30 percent of U.S children are overweight. Childhood obesity has more than doubled within the past 25 years. Within the past 20 years, childhood diabetes has increased 10-fold. If this epidemic is not reversed we will, for the first time in history, see children living shorter lives than their parents.

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