Are Children Outliving Their Parents?

Hannah Daniel, Staff Writer

With modern medicine, progressive thinking and advanced technology, it’s no secret that children often outlive their parents. The increasing expanse of knowledge in the global community introduces solutions to many of the problems that have plagued the world and overall heighten living standards, which is beneficial to future generations. Strides in genetic engineering and lowered occurrences of harmful behavior such as smoking have to some extent decreased deaths in the nation. Though obesity among the young ones in the current times is proving to be a great outlier to this trend, one that cannot be ignored. The illnesses related to obesity such as heart attacks and strokes have been on the rise in developed countries such as the United Kingdom where cases of Diabetes Type 2 are continuously being reported. New York Times states if childhood obesity is “left unchecked, could shorten life spans by as much as five years.” Dr. David S. Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children’s Hospital Boston, even claims “obesity is such that this generation of children could be the first basically in the history of the United States to live less healthful and shorter lives than their parents.” Though the death toll related to obesity is debated, the estimated mortality rates are unusually high, sending a strong message concerning the extent of the effects of obesity. Authors of the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate “obesity is already shortening average life spans by a greater rate than accidents, homicides and suicides combined.” Staggering statistics prove that for the first time in the 21st century that children may not outlive their parents overall.