Exercising More, But Getting Fatter

Jul 11, 2013

A multi-year study finds that Americans -- and Floridians -- are exercising more than in the past, yet still getting fatter. In a similar vein, we're living longer, but the extra years aren't healthy ones.

Those seemingly contradictory results, which show public health is a complicated business, emerge from a sweeping 25-year study of the nation's health published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The analysis was done by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The researchers concluded that "despite gains in longevity, Americans are living the extra years "not necessarily in good health."

In the 25-year-period studied, American men gained 5.2 years of life expectancy and women gained 3 years. The gains were similar in Florida but average life expectancy slightly above the national average, at  76.3 years for men and 81.6 years for women. 

More details on the overall research are available at the Wall Street Journal online.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times article on the JAMA report, with added reporting by the Orlando Sentinel,  describes the odd finding that people are exercising more and yet obesity is still increasing.