Americans living shorter, less healthy lives

Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:53:55 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 13 2013 11:18:46 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -- -

The U.S. may be one of the most wealthy countries in the world, but it falls short when it comes to health.

Americans live shorter lives and have poorer health than other nations with similar wealth, according to a new study.

The study found that life expectancy for men in the U.S. was almost four years less than the top nation.

For women, it's five years less.

The study by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine compared Americans to 16 other wealthy countries and found Americans are dying younger and living less healthy lives than almost all of them.

According, America has more problems with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung disease than any of the other countries.

Steve Czys helps coach people in fitness and nutrition and says many of our health problems are a result of what we eat.

"The biggest reason without a doubt is our lifestyle. Our diets have changed drastically within the last 50 years and with our diet change the incidence of obesity, heart disease, cancers have increased right along with it. The biggest change in our diet without a doubt is sugar consumption," said Steve Czys, owner of Eupraxia.

The study also shows that Americans consume the most calories per person and live more stationary lives.

Personal training manager at Snap Fitness Randy Erickson says even a little exercise can make a big difference.

"We've got to start moving. People don't exercise period. We live sedentary lifestyles. We sit at a desk all day long we sit behind a steering wheel all day long," said Erickson.

But diet and exercise choices are not the only factors that put America at the bottom of the list.

The study shows Americans are involved in more alcohol-related traffic crashes and are more likely to use firearms violently.

The study also says America has a bigger problem with HIV and AIDS, drug-related deaths and sexually transmitted infections than its peer countries.

If you're interested in taking a closer look at the study, visit http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CPOP/DBASSE_080393#deaths-from-all-causes