Is Metabolic Syndrome Responsible For Increased Death Rate?

This story has been floating around for a couple of weeks in various forms

Why has the mortality rate for middle age white Americans gone up dramatically since 1999 – even as it has gone down for other groups of Americans and whites in other countries? (snip)

The study released this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the surprising rise in middle-age, white mortality in America from 1999 to 2013 was driven by a rise in suicide, drug abuse, and alcoholism. The trends were strongest among those with the least education and in the predominantly red South and West, with the authors suggesting a vicious cycle of physical pain and addiction to painkillers, compounded by fiscal uncertainty.

“[M]any of the baby-boom generation are the first to find, in midlife, that they will not be better off than were their parents,” the authors write.

Meanwhile, data show that the primary red axis of the country, running from Appalachia to the Southern coastal plains, is the epicenter of some of the nation’s greatest stresses. It’s here that the lack of well-paying jobs and large-scale abandonment of the job market are most pronounced, where obesity and health problems are most dire, where Walmart is winning a race to the bottom of what the American consumer can afford amid stagnating wages, and where the rising dependence on disability and Medicare is most pronounced.


Chart courtesy of

“We spend more time sick now than a decade agoDespite longer life spans, fewer years are disease-free”

A 20-year-old today can expect to live one less healthy year over his or her lifespan than a 20-year-old a decade ago, even though life expectancy has grown. (snip)

The average number of healthy years has decreased since 1998. We spend fewer years of our lives without disease, even though we live longer. (snip)

Functional mobility was defined as the ability to walk up ten steps, walk a quarter mile, stand or sit for 2 hours, and stand, bend or kneel without using special equipment.

A male 20-year-old today can expect to spend 5.8 years over the rest of his life without basic mobility, compared to 3.8 years a decade ago — an additional two years unable to walk up ten steps or sit for two hours. A female 20-year-old can expect 9.8 years without mobility, compared to 7.3 years a decade ago. (snip)

“There is substantial evidence that we have done little to date to eliminate or delay disease while we have prevented death from diseases,” Crimmins explained. “At the same time, there have been substantial increases in the incidences of certain chronic diseases, specifically, diabetes.”

From 1998 to 2006, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease increased among older men, the researchers found. Both older men and women showed an increased prevalence of cancer. Diabetes increased significantly among all adult age groups over age 30.

The proportion of the population with multiple diseases also increased. (snip)

“The growing problem of lifelong obesity and increases in hypertension and high cholesterol are a sign that health may not be improving with each generation,” Crimmins said. “We do not appear to be moving to a world where we die without experiencing significant periods of disease, functioning loss, and disability.”

So, the key thing I want to note here is that all the “diseases” that are returning with such a vengeance are what are known as “diseases of civilization.” These are the very “diseases” that the modern ‘heart-healthy-whole-sugars’ experiment was meant to address.

Why are people finding themselves in pain in middle age, as I did?

Why are people living fewer healthy, pain free years?

Perhaps because we were listening to the gubmint which insisted that we keep on keeping on with the high carb lifestyle and they would find some sort of magic cure. Yeah, right.

Instead we took the ‘radical’ step of eliminating sugars from our diet and, hold onto your hats, our diseases of civilization vanished. No expensive drugs required, no Doctors required whatsoever, and as a matter of fact Doctors fought our leaving the ‘heart-healthy-whole-sugars’ & ‘sell-U-stuff-health-care’ model.

Really, they did.

I can tell you that after seven years of being massively, morbidly obese, being unable to work and in constant, chronic pain I seriously considered killing myself. It wasn’t a life in any way shape or form. I literally praise God that he showed me a way to return to life but I have a sneaking suspicion that my experience mirrors that of the folks who find themselves over medicated and addicted to pain killers.

So, I’m here to tell you that if you find yourself in the place I was, sick fat and nearly dead, to borrow a phrase, there is hope. It can be done.

You have been cynically fed a diet by interests that want you buying cheap to produce food that will hurt your health and leave you addicted, with promises that modern medicine will swoop in to save the day.

But oops!

That hasn’t actually happened, people just keep getting fatter and sicker with no end in sight.

If you find yourself here today read this.

And know that it’s not impossible. Michelle and I both have profoundly changed our health by eliminating sugars and carbs from our diet and increasing saturated fat to at least 80% of calories.

Not only is it not impossible, it’s not even particularly difficult. A big change to be sure but not impossible.

Update: I meant to mention this


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