US Towns With the Shortest Life Expectancy

Link to The Oklahoman article. 

(The article may be behind a paywall).

shortest LE_Screenshot_2018-09-23 The Oklahoman e-Edition

The Paradox

The National Center for Health Statistics narrowed its life expectancy data to census tracts of a few thousand people, which can be a small town, a large rural area or a neighborhood in a large city. Oklahoma’s least healthy areas are small towns and rural areas, but so are some of its healthiest, according to the life expectancy figures.

The highest life expectancy in Oklahoma — 89.4 years — is in a Caddo County census tract that surrounds, but doesn’t include, Anadarko. McCurtain County, in far southeast Oklahoma, is home to the second-highest life expectancy at 89 years. Sparsely populated parts of Pushmataha County, also in rural southeast Oklahoma, have an average life expectancy of 88 years.

Other long-living parts of Oklahoma include the area around Grand Lake State Park in Mayes County (86.7 years), southwest neighborhoods of Stillwater (86.6 years) and rural areas south of Kingfisher (86.1 years).

All of this bothers and intrigues me at the same time.

 

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Vegetarian or ‘Flexitarian’ Diet Benefits Waistline and Pocket

Adopting a vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet to lose weight and improve health may not be as onerous as is typically assumed, as people can experience health benefits even if they only partially switch to plant-based foods. In addition, the diets may cost less than other healthy diets, suggests new research presented here at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) 2018.

Access the full article here.

The comments are the best part of this article.

To Weigh or Not to Weigh

The National Weight Control Registry has published several studies on the habits of those who have successfully achieved and maintained significant weight loss over 10 years (4, 5, 6, 7). Their findings are based on the tracking of over 10,000 individuals through detailed questionnaires and annual follow-up surveys designed to identify behavioral and psychological characteristics and strategies used to maintain weight loss. 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.

Here’s a short literature review on weighing habits in the processes of losing weight and maintaining weight loss.  Read the source article here.

I completed my annual National Weight Control Registry survey this morning.

For the first time in a very long time I reported a weight loss since the last follow up.

When I tell people I’ve lost 200 pounds they are always surprised and ask how I did it.

Well, you’ll just have to buy the book when I finish writing it.

Education, not income, the best predictor of a long life

The researchers point out that better education leads to improved cognition and in turn to better choices for health-related behaviours. Recent decades have seen a shift in the disease burden from infectious to chronic diseases, the latter of which are largely lifestyle-related. As time goes on, the link between education and better health choices, and therefore life expectancy, will become even more apparent.

Read the source article here.

Download the original study at this link.

I should have gone to graduate school.

(Eat Like an Asian) A Healthy Asian A Posteriori Dietary Pattern Correlates with A Priori Dietary Patterns and Is Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in a Multi-ethnic Asian Population

Results

We identified a “healthy” dietary pattern, similar across ethnic groups, and characterized by high intakes of whole grains, fruit, dairy, vegetables, and unsaturated cooking oil and low intakes of Western fast foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, poultry, processed meat, and flavored rice. This “healthy” pattern was inversely associated with body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) (−0.26 per 1 SD of the pattern score; 95% CI: −0.36, −0.16), waist circumference (−0.57 cm; 95% CI: −0.82, −0.32), total cholesterol (−0.070 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.091, −0.048), LDL cholesterol (−0.054 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.074, −0.035), and fasting triglycerides (−0.22 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.04, −0.004) and directly associated with HDL cholesterol (0.013 mmol/L; 95% CI: 0.006, 0.021). Generally, “healthy” pattern associations were at least as strong as a priori pattern associations with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Conclusion

A healthful dietary pattern that correlated well with a priori patterns and was associated with lower BMI, serum LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and fasting triglyceride concentrations was identified across 3 major Asian ethnic groups.

Full abstract here.

Eat like an Asian.

Taiwanese Vegetarians and Omnivores: Dietary Composition, Prevalence of Diabetes and IFG

Background

The diabetes epidemic in Asia and particularly in China emerged simultaneously with increased meat consumption and higher proportion of energy intake from animal protein and fat [1]. Compared with Westerners, Asians tend to incur diabetes at a younger age and at a lower body mass index (BMI), possibly due to genetic susceptibility in combination with environmental exposures [2]. Vegetarian diets have been associated with a lower prevalence [3] and incidence [4] of diabetes among Seventh day Adventists. Previous clinical trials have shown vegetarian diets improve glycemic control [5] and insulin sensitivity [6]. Although several small studies reported lower glucose level and better insulin sensitivity in Taiwanese vegetarians than omnivores [7][9], no study thus far has examined whether a vegetarian diet protects against diabetes in Chinese ethnic Asian population, a high risk population that may incur diabetes despite having a normal BMI value [2]. Moreover, Asian diets tend to be lower in meat and higher in plant foods compared with Western diet. It remains unknown whether a diet completely avoiding meat and fish would further extend the protective effect of a plant-based diet. In addition, most studies on Asian vegetarians tend to compare vegetarians from religious groups with omnivores from the general population [7]. Religious and spiritual practices (a main determinant of vegetarian dietary practice in Asia) may be associated with social and emotional support which may confound health outcomes [10], [11].

Conclusion

We found a strong protective association between Taiwanese vegetarian diet and diabetes/IFG, after controlling for various potential confounders and risk factors.

The full study report can be found here.