What Do Health Statistics Really Show?

What Do Health Statistics Really Show?

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It is important to take a closer look at statistics concerning life expectancy to gain a better perspective on our current health situation and how we can live long and healthy lives.

In 1900, global average life expectancy was just thirty-one years, and below fifty years even in the richest countries. But by the mid-20th century, average life expectancy rose to forty-eight years.

In 2005, average lifespan reached 65.6 years, and over 80 years in some countries.

Over the period 2010–2015, the average human life expectancy at birth was 72 years (69.2 years for males and 75 years for females). It is interesting to see how life expectancy increased over the past sixty-five years in the chart below.

 Life expectancy at birth for both sexes (yrs):

The infant mortality rate for 2011 was 6.5 infant deaths per thousand live births. Infant mortality rate has statistically remained the same or decreased each successive year significantly from 1958 through 2011.

Modern medicine and public health measures are allowing people to live longer. Childhood mortality rates are now reduced to a level as low as 1%.

But has the quality of life increased with the increase in lifespan?

Let’s have a look at the leading causes of death.

Today, the primary causes of death in the world today are as follows:

  1. Heart disease: with 17.3 million global deaths each year. This number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million global deaths from heart disease by 2030.
  2. Stroke (CVA, TIA): The number of people having first and recurrent strokes each year went up, reaching 33 million in 2010.
  3. Cancer
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  5. Accidents
  6. Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Diabetes
  8. Influenza and Pneumonia
  9. Kidney diseases
  10. Suicide

It seems that although lifespan has increased, quality of life has not. Although the majority of people may look rather healthy, statistics show a different story. Nearly 1 in 2 Americans (133 million) is suffering from a chronic disease which has many implications on the quality of their lives today. Sixty percent of adults up to the age of 64 years are suffering from a chronic disease, and this number goes up to 90% for seniors.

Modern human advances in medicine and technology during the past few decades generated a transition in society with rapidly increasing numbers of middle-aged and seniors. A new set of diseases rose including cancers, heart disease, stroke, and mental illness, with less satisfying results from medications than we achieved for infectious diseases through the invention of antibiotics.

In this era, there is no option for a quick pill or medicine to help save our health. It is only through the changing of our hardwired lifestyle choices and returns to a more in tune with nature approach to health that we can increase the quality of life and increase life expectancy even more.

Actually, by observing the typical modern human diet, it is quite amazing that we have such long life spans when two of the top five sources of calories in the modern Western world diet are sugars, including sugary drinks, cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries. Both food sources contribute calories, but do not offer any nutritional value. When it comes to meat consumption throughout the world, Americans come in second to Luxembourg, averaging 270 pounds per person per year. Both meat and poultry are a significant source of saturated fat. High intakes of saturated fat raise blood cholesterol levels and the increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, two of the five leading causes of death in the Western world.

When it comes to food choices, in the modern Western society, convenience plays a significant role. Convenience foods include meals eaten out and foods purchased at the grocery store that help make home meal preparation faster and easier. Convenience foods tend to be high in saturated fat, salt, and added sugar, and they offer very little nutritional value.

In fact, research shows that poor lifestyle behaviors and poor food choices are “the foremost causes of death and disability in the United States and the world” as stated by The American Heart Association in their 2015 update of Heart disease and stroke statistics.

Farming created surpluses of food, and processing of foods, especially grains and sugar, helped drastically extend their storage period. Processing also allowed for easy measurement as well as long distance transportation due to their small size, hardiness, and dryness of these processed products.

Nowadays, almost all food types are easily and cheaply attainable everywhere in the Western world with virtually no physical effort on our part due to modern transportation. It is through the easy attainability of foods, requiring almost no energy output, and the almost endless variety of unnatural and convenient foods available on all parts of the globe which has offered us a lazy approach to feeding ourselves, and this has given us most of our modern day health problems.

It is evident that living in comfort with air conditioned or heated houses with sanitation at our disposal has increased the quality of our lives dramatically. Buying our foods at the local grocery has also increased our livelihood. This extra free time has allowed us, humans, to spend it doing other, more creative activities to further improve the world around us. However, not all of us use this time creatively. Some people find themselves often sitting in front of the television or doing some other sedentary, mind dulling activity while feeding their bodies with highly processed, high energy comfort foods without even noticing what they are doing. Thus we are exerting less physical energy for food collection, and the foods consumed tend to be richer in calories and lacking in nutrients. Muscular strength is reduced due to a decrease in fitness levels, leaving us with epidemics like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease which arise from lowered insulin sensitivity, decreased metabolism, increased fat in our body composition, and a chronic state of inflammation. These diseases were rare to non-existent among primitive humans. Dietary habits and physical activity levels play an essential role in the development of these diseases.

Humans evolved from being active nomad food foragers who expended enormous amounts of energy on a daily basis, not only due to immense physical demands in search of food but also because living conditions were extremely precarious, particularly due to the unpredictable weather conditions.

Early humans had to expend energy to maintain their body temperature and also to eat. Nowadays there is hardly any energy expended during the collection of foods. In short, agriculture bred immobility, and we began suffering from a chronic state of disease reducing the quality of our lives immensely.

So how do we change this situation?

Only by changing what we eat and how we live will we be able to change and improve our own destiny as well as that of our future generations and our planet Earth.

But in this day and age, how do you really know what is right to eat and which exercise program is suitable for you. Well, even as a nutritionist, exercise physiologist and medical scientist, I held the same confusion. There are so many approaches to choose from, so how do you know which is right for you? That’s when I decided to do the research into the ideal diet for humans myself. In this way, I ensured I would have honest answers to my questions. The rest is history. International award-winning bestseller The Guerrilla Diet and Lifestyle Program was written following my research and hold the answers to the questions: “What, How, How Much and When should we be eating for health and weight loss”?

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Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are serious about improving your health no matter what your age or circumstances are, and are ready to achieve better results with your weight loss attempts, guaranteed, then join my mailing list where you will receive my weekly newsletter with groundbreaking health, motivational content, recipes, supplement recommendations, easy workouts, as well as many FREE bonuses and special offers. Click HERE to subscribe. Or visit the Guerrilla Diet Website for my health advice, offers, programs and more information HERE.

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References:

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