Smoking, Obesity Causing Shorter Lifespans in U.S.

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The life expectancy of Americans is lower than most of Europe and Japan, according to the National Research Council.

The council believes that smoking and obesity are to blame. It reports that the U.S. has more people lighting up and fattening up. The result is a life expectancy a few years shorter than other high-income countries.

The average life expectancy for women in American is 80.8 years and 75.6 years for men, trailing Japan and some countries in Europe.

In France, the expectancy for women was 84.4 years and 77.4 for men. Japan saw nearly 86 years for women and 79.2 for men.

However, the expectancy for men is expected to improve over the coming decades, thanks to the decline in smoking over the last 20 years.

The report shows that smoking is the key reason but obesity still accounts for a fifth to a third of low life expectancy.

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The National Academies

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