WASHINGTON -- The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation yet has worse life expectancy than many -- and a new report blames smoking and obesity.
Americans began lighting up and fattening up years ahead of similar high-income countries. While other countries eventually did, too, the National Research Council says the U.S. felt the long-term consequences first. Tuesday's report says that explains a two- to five-year shortfall in U.S. lifespans compared to parts of Europe and Japan.
But thanks to the decline in smoking, the life expectancy of U.S. men is expected to start catching up soon.