The country is facing a number of growing threats.
Both foreign and domestic adversaries pose problems that should be on the minds of the populace.
But one rising health crisis should definitely have all Americans concerned.
According to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), life expectancy of Americans has declined for the third year in a row.
The decline has mainly been driven by an increase in deaths among working-age people defined as those between 25 and 64-years-old.
From 1959 through 2016, life expectancy in the U.S. increased from a just under 70 years to 79 years through 2014.
The growth rate in life expectancy began to slow down after 1980 and plateaued in 2010.
However, in 2015, life expectancy started to drop, a troubling sign for any thriving country.
The two main drivers for the drop in life expectancy were a stark increase in obesity-related illnesses, such as type-2 diabetes, and an uptick in suicides among working-aged individuals.
Obesity rates have exploded for a number of reasons.
First, as countries get richer, there’s an abundance of food.
However, the issue has more to do with dietary choices.
For years, the food pyramid was sold to Americans by the government as the ideal diet.
But the food pyramid, which was largely influenced by special interest, told people they should eat plenty of grains and starches.
However, both are high in carbohydrates, and high-carb intake is the number one driver of obesity.
Carbs tend to be an inefficient fuel source for the body because they give you a jolt of energy that quickly dissipates, then you crave more carbs to get the same “high.”
Excess carbs turn into fat and pack on the pounds.
Carbs are fine in moderation, but that isn’t how they’re being consumed today.
Second, the rise in suicides presents a complex challenge.
A spike in opioid use has led to many more drug-related overdoses and suicides.
Economic pressures exacerbated by bad governmental policy have driven people to suicide as well as drug addiction.
Another factor at play is a loss of purpose.
This tends to happen when a country no longer believes in the inherent value of life.
The more secularized a country gets, the more its citizens begin to search for meaning in dead ends that aren’t fulfilling.
This purposelessness is coming at a time when highly potent and addictive drugs like fentanyl have flooded into the country.
The obesity issue can be fixed with raised awareness about better food choices, which is gradually happening.
However, the suicide issue is a much deeper problem that requires a strengthening of communities.
If these problems don’t get rectified, life expectancy will only further slip, and more importantly, when people are left with feelings of despair, they are much more susceptible to continue the cycle.