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Declining life expectancy: A Persuasive Essay
Bassam Al-Busaidi
Date: November 4th
Declining life expectancy: A Persuasive Argument
Some people have maintained that life expectancy is improving in some parts of the
globe. However, other experts have argued that life expectancy is declining around the world.
The latter is supported by diverse pieces of evidence collected from various parts of the
globe. Countries such as the United States and regions like Europe have reported a declining
trend in life expectancy (Therrien, 2018). It is important to note that the declining trend in life
expectancy will have a significant implication on the future of these countries. The potential
impacts may range from economic to sustainability and environmental, among others.
Diverse factors have been identified and linked to the declining trend as far as life expectancy
is concerned. Historically, life expectancy has been reducing. Gaps are identified across the
genders where certain places have women with higher life expectancy as compared to men.
Understanding these trends will play a crucial role in defining the ultimate measures
to take to improve life expectancy across the globe. One of the main issues which have been
associated with the declining life expectancy trends in the country and around the world
revolves around the overall health of the population. Reduced immunity and increased
diseases such as cancer among others are some of the health factors which have resulted in a
reduction in life expectancy trends. While governments have implemented measures to
guarantee better health outcomes, people across the globe have continued to suffer diverse
illnesses and conditions which have shortened their overall life expectancy.
It is worth noting that such trends will bring about diverse implications in the future.
Such patterns should be taken as lessons for the various stakeholders in the diverse areas of
application such as governance and health in improving the life expectancy of the population.
This project seeks to show that life expectancy is a global challenge affecting numerous
countries. Also, this project will outline the problems which are associated with the
occurrence of the witnessed trends. Further, understanding the past and the present will help
in the creation of a reliable platform for predicting the potential future patterns as far as life
expectancy is concerned.
The past and present scenario
Life expectancy is defined as the average lifespan that a human being is expected to
live on earth. This period has been changing over the years. Diverse factors have been
attributed to the negative changes in life expectancy. However, it is essential to note that
while the average lifespan of a human being is 78 years, some people have managed to live
over 100 years with good health. Diverse factors are attributed to such cases such as good
eating habits and better genes. However, on the average lookout, not many people have lived
beyond 78 years. Most people today who attain old age or beyond 60 years appear frail. From
a historical context, there has been a trend that defines the changes in the life expectancy of
the general population. This trend implies that in the past, people used to live for over 100
years. However, today, it is worth noting that most countries shave reported an average life
expectancy of 78 years and below.
Diverse factors influence the life expectancy of a given human being. For example,
the life expectancy of a human being is mainly dependent on their health status. The health
outcomes and quality of life are affected and influenced by the food that the population eats.
Sometimes, bad eating habits result in a decline in the overall level of health outcomes of the
affected individuals. Poor health outcomes reduce the abilities of the affected individuals to
guarantee a quality life.
For instance, in the traditional community, the population adopted measures that
improved their overall level of health outcomes and hence, the quality of life. For example,
most people in the past did not have avenues for consuming fast foods. Unlike today, the
community relied on traditional foods. Cooking was considered as a daily routine for most
people across the globe. Today, teenagers have adopted trends in fast food consumption. Fast
food companies do not consider the implications of the compounds that they use in the
creation and preparation of their final products on the health of the consumers in the long run.
Such a trend has seen many people develop diverse diseases such as diabetes when young
because of poor eating habits (Beltrán-Sánchez, Soneji & Crimmins, 2015).
From another dimension, the onset of diseases such as obesity has been seen as a
significant drawback for the improvement of health outcomes of the associated populations.
Obesity affecting numerous generations of people has been witnessed in the country. For
example, there has been a growing concern about childhood obesity in the United States.
Obesity reduces the abilities of an individual to undertake their day to day tasks. On the same
note, obesity among other chronic illnesses brought about by poor diets and nutrition have
negatively influenced the overall abilities to live longer on earth (Walls, Backholer, Proietto
& McNeil, 2012). The lack of a reliable treatment method for such conditions has shortened
the life expectancy of diverse people in the country.
Another factor associated with reduced life expectancy is an increase in the cases of
cancer. There exist multiple types of cancer that affect diverse populations. For instance, lung
and cervical cancer are some of the most common conditions affecting the overall health of
diverse populations. While reports claim that people in the United States can live to over 78
years, recent trends have shown otherwise. According to a report by Devitt, (2018), the
average life expectancy of people in the country has reduced over the years. Diverse factors
have been associated with the trend in the country. For instance, the report highlights issues
such as suicide, diseases, and drug overdose cases as the primary contributors to the reduction
in the general life expectancy trend. The figure below shows the variations of the top ten
health conditions which contribute towards the reduction of life expectancy in the country. It
is important to note that this trend has been reported in diverse other parts of the globe.
A report by Rapaport (2018) gives an insight into the potential trend witnessed across
various countries today as far as life expectancy is concerned. According to the report, life
expectancy has been declining in high-income countries such as the United States. One of the
factors which have been associated with this trend is an increase in opioid epidemics. This
factor attributes to the health implications of the general health of the community. The
recorded trends in life expectancy decline were witnessed amongst people between 20 and 30
years. Increased drug overdose and suicide are two of the most common actors who have
contributed to the observed trends.
The perceived future of life expectancy
While numerous medical inventions have over the years helped to improve the life
expectancy levels of populations, it is essential to note that other factors have undermined
such achievements. Climate change, the onset of new diseases and poor eating habits are
some of the factors which have undermined the witnessed trends in life expectancy.
However, regardless of the reduced trend in life expectancy, there is hope for a better future.
for instance, technological advancements can be used in the creation of solutions for delayed
Delayed aging can be used as one of the factors to extend the life expectancy of the
general population (Beltrán-Sánchez, Soneji & Crimmins, 2015). However, issues such as
climate change and obesity among others are on the rise reducing the life expectancy of the
general population. The implications for delayed aging programs is that it would lead to the
creation of a generation free from problems such as disabilities of people between 65 and 90
years in the future. These programs can improve the life expectancy of the general
population. However, to achieve such a trend, massive changes may need to be executed,
ranging from health and nutrition to young people.
The life expectancy of an average human being has been declining in various
countries. Diverse countries have reported a rise in life expectancy on the other hand.
However, generally, a declining trend has been witnessed across multiple countries such as
the United States among others ranked in the high-income levels (Therrien, 2018). Diverse
factors such as a rise in various diseases such as obesity and cancer are some of the
conditions which result in a decline in life expectancy. On the other hand, issues such as drug
overdose as seen in the context of opioids have resulted in a decline in the life expectancy of
most people across the globe. Additionally, poor nutrition trends amongst young people have
translated into poor health outcomes for adults in the community. The future is promising
with the implementation of programs such as delayed aging. These programs will improve
the level of health and quality of life for the elderly between 65 and 90 years.
Devitt, M. (2018). CDC Data Show U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline
Suicides, Drug Overdose Deaths Named as Key Contributors. AAFP. Retrieved from
Beltrán-Sánchez, H., Soneji, S., & Crimmins, E. M. (2015). Past, present, and future of
healthy life expectancy. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine, 5(11),
Rapaport, L. (2018). Life expectancy declines seen in the U.S. and other high-income
countries. Reuters. Retrieved from
Therrien, A. (2018). Life expectancy progress in UK ‘stops for the first time’. BBC News.
Retrieved from
Walls, H. L., Backholer, K., Proietto, J., & McNeil, J. J. (2012). Obesity and trends in life
expectancy. Journal of obesity, 2012.

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