New method of forecasting could change the way life expectancy is calculated

Fitness Update: (Contributed by Rajat Bhatnagar, International Sports & Fitness Distribution, LLC,

Many reports have claimed that that the younger generation of Americans could be the first not to outlive their parents, and a study recently published in the journal Health Affairs sheds some light on those figures can be calculated, and why childhood obesity complicates the process.

While traditionally, researchers have used “two dimensional” forecasting to predict life expectancy, this study explains the need for “three dimensional” forecasting. In the past, experts always assumed that younger generations will experience better health and lower mortality than their parents, thanks to lifestyle improvements, modern healthcare and pharmaceutical treatments. However, this study explains that today’s children can no longer be expected to outlive their parents, which introduces another dimension into calculating their life expectancy. Since the long-term effects of childhood obesity are still unclear, it’s impossible to predict exactly how long the youngest generation will live. The study does show that applying this “three dimensional” forecasting technique to the US obesity epidemic suggests that future death rates and health care expenditures could be far higher than anticipated, and that reversal of the US life expectancy rate is a possibility for the current generation of young Americans.

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