Living a Long Life

We Americans are in many respects reckless and spoiled. One result is that we don’t live as long as we could if we took better care of ourselves.

 There are four general principles of healthy living: a good diet, moderate exercise, not smoking, and keeping body fat under control. But 97.3 percent of American adults get a failing grade on healthy lifestyle habits. Each year, nearly 900,000 Americans die prematurely. America is rated number 35 out of 169 countries in terms of overall citizen health.

Four factors—poor diet, high blood pressure, obesity, and tobacco use—are identified as primary causes of early death (defined as occurring before age 86) in the United States. I have no figures on those of us who eat poorly or suffer from high blood pressure, but four in ten American adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And an estimated 30.8 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. But there’s hope: current smoking has declined from 20.9 percent (nearly 21 of every 100 adults) in 2005 to 12.5 percent (nearly 13 of every 100 adults) in 2020.

I am a living example of a reformed smoker who nevertheless suffered the consequences. I started smoking cigarettes when I was a teenager and smoked heavily during the thirteen years (1962 to 1975) I spent more time in Vietnam than I did in the U.S. Then I realized that smoking was a threat to my life. I quit. But it took years. First, I switched to nicotine gum, then to ordinary chewing gum. I’m still addicted to chewing gum.

More next time.

One thought on “Living a Long Life

  1. Agree with all of this ! On a recent trip to the Philippines, my son which is 6’3″ And 200 lbs. said he felt like a big fat Neanderthal man, when standing close to the locals there… I’ve always watched my weight, even in the pregnancy years.. But the extra 15 lbs. that Covid blessed me with, is refusing to leave !! Oh well, at 73 yrs. old, as long as I don’t add anything to it, I’m still doing pretty well for an old chick ! My only habit is coffee.. I have even cut that to two cups per day..I have found, that moderation is the key to everything, especially good health ! More later…..


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