OT: Partisan divide to life expectancy

Fascinating read. Note, the title references the partisan divide but in the first example (snipped below), the two areas are equally red - it is the states/regions that diverge politically.


On paper, Lexington County, S.C., and Placer County, Calif., have a lot in common. They’re both big, wealthy, suburban counties with white supermajorities that border on their respective state’s capital cities. They both were at the vanguard of their states’ 20th century Republican advances — Lexington in the 1960s when it pivoted from the racist Dixiecrats; Placer with the Reagan Revolution in 1980 — and twice voted for Donald Trump by wide margins. But when it comes to how long their residents can count on living, the parallels fall apart. Placer has a Scandinavia-like life expectancy of 82.3 years. In Lexington, the figure is 77.7, a little worse than China’s.

Key take away from this study, it is not your politics that might be killing you but it very well may be region of the country in which you live (and of course the politics of that region).

Solutions exist (beyond moving):

If you just want to move the needle on longevity in the short term, aggressive tobacco control and taxation policies are about the quickest way you can do that,” he says. “But for the long term we really have to launch our children into healthier trajectories by giving them great educational and socioeconomic opportunities and access to clean air and water and healthy foods.”


They seem not to consider differences in diet. Southern cooking seems to favor fried foods, fats, pork, lard, etc. Isn’'t diet and healthy eating a factor in life expectancy?


So are a lot of other factors. If you have a labor-intensive job, you burn off what you ate, so diet is far less relevant. If you eat the same all the time, working or not, that is when the “diet and healthy eating” can make a difference.

They did bring it up, a bit, but in order to exclude for diet, they would have to do surveys, which this study did not entail. That being said, I doubt diet is quite that monolithic. People can eat unhealthy (and be overweight/obese) all over the country.