Life Expectancy Is Dropping (But Not Because of Opioids)

Have you seen that TV commercial where they ask people (actors) to put a mark on a wall that indicates the age of the oldest person they know?

We see lots of marks in the mid-80’s, a good number in the early 90’s, some in the mid-to-late 90’s, and even a few over 100.

Life expectancy has been increasing over the last century and it makes us feel good to see this graphical representation of how far we’ve come.

But I’ve been deeply concerned that this upward trend was going to reverse, and it looks like that is now happening.

Let me give you an example:

My friend Teresa (not her real name) is about my age (mid-50’s). Her grandmother recently passed away at 99 years old, just a few months shy of 100.

Teresa’s mom is 76 years old, but not in great shape. The nourishment to keep her alive comes through a feeding tube in her stomach, she can’t remember much, and walking is out of the question. She probably doesn’t have more than a year or two to live, at the most.

And my friend Teresa is also in pretty bad shape. Overweight, losing mobility, some auto-immune issues and probably more she doesn’t know about — and she doesn’t want to know.

No one can say for sure, but I think it is a pretty safe guess that all three women from these three generations will very likely die within a 5- to 10-year period of each other — each one passing at a successively younger age.

Unfortunately, Teresa’s case is fairly common. It has saddened me deeply to have quite a few more examples like this in my extended circle of friends and acquaintances.

After almost a century of increasing life expectancy, the numbers are starting to turn downward.

The reason?

In recent decades, we have not been taking good care of ourselves.

The National Center for Health Statistics Report Mortality in the United States, 20161) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf (the latest year for which numbers are currently available) shows that life expectancy in the U.S. in 2016 decreased about a tenth of a year since 2015. This latest report guesses that, on average, you are going to live to be 78.6 years old.

By the way, girlfriends, we can still expect to live about 5 years longer (to 81.1 years) than our menfolk, who are expected to live to 76.1 years old, on average.

A 1-year drop, although extremely rare, isn’t of true concern. But the CDC has reported numbers for both 2015 and 2016 that show your odds of living longer are dropping.

I suppose a 2-year drop isn’t really that disconcerting, either (the last time it happened was in 1962–63).

But what surprises me is how long it’s taken for the stats to show a drop. The level of health of our population has been dropping for decades.

The Official ‘Explanation’

As I was surfing the net researching this topic, I began to notice a very strange thing: almost every article that talked about the 2-year drop explained it away by saying it was due to the number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses.

Uh, what?

In the U.S. in 2015, there were approximately 2.7 million deaths from every cause.

Heart disease is the biggie at about 633,842 deaths per year; cancer is at 595,930; and then way below that is chronic lower respiratory diseases at 155,041. (Note that they never mention the number of deaths due to medical errors. I’ll be writing about that soon, but the estimate on that is about 253,000 each year.)

And the number of deaths from opioid overdose? About 20,000. Most of those deaths are by people who are between the ages of 35 and 50.

So how does this small amount of middle-age overdoses account for the drop in longevity?

Now I am not an actuary or a mathematician, but those numbers just don’t add up.

And they don’t pass the common-sense test.

We’ve just jumped off a cliff, so why aren’t we talking about the real problems?

I Predict That Life Expectancy in the U.S. Is Going to Plummet

What I see is not rocket science, nor am I gazing into a crystal ball. It’s simple “rocks are hard and water is wet” kind of logic. Our population is malnourished and overfed, and we are getting sicker much younger.

A while back there was a study (again published by the CDC) that estimated that 1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Did you know that Type 2 Diabetes used to be called “adult-onset diabetes” because it was only seen in adults, generally over the age of 50 or 60? The name has been dropped now that so many younger people—and kids—are afflicted.

What kind of life will those kids have if they are getting diabetes in their 20’s and 30’s? They will be in the prime of life, at child-bearing age … and they will be dealing with complications from diabetes such as kidney problems, heart disease, blindness, and amputations.

This past November, Dr. Tara Narula spoke about the increase in child-onset Type 2 Diabetes on “CBS This Morning”:2)https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-behind-rise-in-type-2-diabetes-children

“What people don’t really think about with this disease, we see the complications not when kids are 50 or 60—we’re seeing this as early as 5 or 10 years down the road, when kids are now in the prime of their lives. They’re starting jobs, they’re in college, they’re having families—and what’s happening to them? They’re developing end-stage renal disease, leading them to dialysis, heart attack and stroke, neuropathy—big, big problems—retinopathy, blindness.”

Do you really expect that these kids will make it to 60 or 70 years old? And if by some miracle they did, what would their quality of life have been?

Can we quantify how much shorter their lives will be? In 2010, research indicated that diabetes cuts about 8.5 years off the lifespan of the average 50-year-old, compared to a 50-year-old without diabetes.3)https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20101201/diabetes-cuts-years-off-life-span-of-americans#1 The study also showed that the younger you are when you get the disease, the more years get cut off from your life expectancy.

Diabetes Is Only One of the Many Problems

I am not sure if you caught that interview I did with Sally Fallon in the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit. Sally is the founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I went off-topic on a rant about how mothers these days are so overprotective. Today’s moms make their kids wear helmets and all kinds of padding just to ride bicycles. We never had any of that kind of stuff when I was a kid.

Sally immediately came to the defense of modern moms. “Marjory,” she said, “kids these days are born with thinner skulls and are much more prone to concussions and skull fractures then we were.” Sally went on to talk about how the modern food supply has paltry levels of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals necessary for healthy bone and skeletal growth. “Children born these days are much frailer than earlier generations and really do need more protection,” she concluded.

Ignoring the Elephant in the Room

It continues to astonish me how the conventional medical system and the U.S. government are completely blind to the most basic pillar of health: nutrition.

The CDC resorts to excuses like opioid overdose to avoid the truth that the food supply is empty of nutrition and essentially toxic. Meanwhile, the population they are supposed to be protecting is getting sicker and sicker.

Bob Anderson is the chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics (which is part of the CDC). Rather than discussing the real issues and the alarm that the drop in numbers represents, Bob said “I still don’t think you can call it a trend, because you really need more than two data points to call something a trend. But it’s certainly concerning to see this two years in a row.”

What Will Happen Next Year?

It’s obvious to me what is going to happen with the next set of data. The life expectancy will continue to go down.

I’ll be watching the data as it comes out.

And the CDC is already preparing us for more bad news—although they still are insisting on the opioid spin for an explanation.

Bob is quoted as saying, “We have data for almost half of 2017 at this point. It’s still quite provisional, but it suggests that we’re in for another increase” in drug-related deaths, he said. “If we’re not careful, we could end up with declining life expectancy for three years in a row, which we haven’t seen since the Spanish flu, 100 years ago.”

The Saving Grace in This World

There is one really beautiful truth that continues to inspire me and fill me with hope.

You can source what your body needs directly from the Earth. You have choices. You don’t have to depend on your government or large corporations to fulfill your needs. With a combination of your own gardens, working within your community, sourcing from trusted local farmers and healers, you can achieve vibrant longevity.

And, in fact, we need you to do that.

I would love to hear your insights, stories, and comments on this topic! Please express your thoughts below. I read all the comments, and will be doing my best to reply to as many as possible. —Marjory

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1 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf
2 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-behind-rise-in-type-2-diabetes-children
3 https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20101201/diabetes-cuts-years-off-life-span-of-americans#1
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This post was written by Marjory Wildcraft


  • anbase10 says:

    Happy to read a debunking of this opioid
    crisis/not crisis.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Anbase10,

      Thanks so much for your support – yeah, we live in a crazy time of information… er, dis-information. I suppose they just want to keep everyone calm.


    What are the 10 most healthiest, (most nutritionist ) foods that can be grown in a garden to sustain us for years?
    I have heard that yellow onions were the most nutritionist of the onion group. Is that true?

  • Scott Sexton says:

    So true! We’re eating and eating because our bodies are crying out for nutrients. But we just keep giving them empty calories and chemicals. As a country, we’re fat and starving.

    I have had discussions with people where they didn’t realize that it’s not just life expectancy that is diminished. It’s quality of life. You’re not just losing the years at the end, where you’re weak and sickly. You’re losing the good years in the middle.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Yes exactly Scott! Gosh I am so worried about all those kids who are getting diabetes now. I was reading about a doctor who founded the ‘amputation prevention foundation’ – yikes talking about being on the front lines of this huge issue. I just can’t imagine… he was also describing people with wounds (usually on the feet) that just wouldn’t ever heal.

      Thanks for posting!

  • m_clayton says:

    There are countermeasures which can be taken to combat the decrease in longevity. Bur first you have to be aware of the cause. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMl5cOx8nJI
    The normal background radiation planet wide back in 2010 ranged from 5 to 20 CPM.

  • David Hale says:

    Marjory, you mention type-2 diabetes, but there has also been an unprecedented surge in mental health disorders like autism and depression, and never-before levels of digestive issues like food allergies. Just a generation ago we rarely dealt with children’s issues like ADHD or gluten sensitivity but now it is an every-day occurrence. Our society, including the medical profession, continues to medicate the symptoms rather than to address the core source of our weakened mental and physical health.

    I believe that you are definitely on the right track with your focus on good nutrition and increasing the nutrient density of the foods that we eat. But this answer isn’t convenient since it requires educating ourselves about what we eat and growing our own food when local sources are inadequate. When you tell people that you grow your own vegetables, raise chickens for eggs, and rabbits for meat, they look at your strangely as if you have reverted to the Dark Ages. And since there isn’t big money promoting this lifestyle, it will take a long time before people recognize the value of all this hard work taking control of our own food production.

    Keep up with your public education about these issues! This is how we are going to learn how to make a difference for ourselves and our families!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi David,

      Yes you are absolutely right about all the other conditions – it’s not just diabetes.

      And, you are also super correct that what the Grow Network offers isn’t an easy answer… and yup. poeple do think you are strange – perhaps deranged – LOL, if you think you need to go to the extreme of growing your own food.

      But you really do have to go to that extreme. And you’ll be so much better off for it.

      I love another quote of Sally Fallons which goes something like this “we are in a period of a massive die off. It’s a time of the natural selection of the wise.”

  • Jeanice says:

    Hey Mrajory – they are actually focusing on opioid addiction right now because they are gearing up to roll out their opioid addiction vaccine. There is an agenda here and they are pushing this agenda because they want to MANDATE this particular vaccine. So it’s all sleight-of-hand sorcery being used by those who control the media to fulfill their “medical” agenda. I have written about this here: http://birthofanewearthblog.com/opioid-addiction-crisis-just-in-time-for-them-to-mandate-their-new-opioid-addiction-vaccine/

    Also, I am interested in your comment regarding children these days having thinner skulls. I cannot find any data to support this and wonder if you have a link. I am writing my second book right now about prenatal ultrasound and am certain that if the children do, indeed, have thinner skulls now than they did before, repeated exposure to ultrasonic irradiation would be contributing to this. There is no doubt that children NORMALLY have thinner skulls than adults and so absorb much more radiation. However the idea that their skulls are thinner now than they once were is a new one and I am interested to learn more.

    Would love to get a response. Thanks.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      OMG Jeanice, that makes so much sense! I having a slap the forehead moment here.

      Of course, its the old problem-reaction-solution thing going on here, huh? An opioid addiction vaccine…

      I like this quote from your blog article “Commissioner of the U.S. Poison Food and Drug-em-to-Death Administration (FDA)”.

      I surfed the Weston Price website looking for some data on the thinner skulls. Sally was very clear with me that there was substantial data. I do see lots of data about more concussions which are explained away by better awareness these days. Hmmm, maybe, maybe not. I’ll tell you what, I’ll ping Sally and ask her for some references. She is super busy and often does not respond…. so a heads up there – but I’ll try. I’ll get back to you if she gets back to me.

      1. Jeanice says:

        Thanks so much for seeing if we can get some citations on this. I notice, with respect to them claiming the concussions appear to be rising due to better awareness, they same the same exact thing about autism!!! As if 1 in 28 boys have been autistic all along and we just didn’t notice! The whole thing is absurd. They are liars through and through and always try to distract people from the facts.

        Anyway, I hope we get some links because I would love to include this information in my ultrasound book which makes very clear that the skull bones of our children (as well as all their brain matter and the cerebrospinal fluid) are being massively irradiated by ultrasound.

        1. Cynthia Lynn Klein says:

          Jeanice, and Marjory,

          I’m in total agreement with your comment that autism couldn’t just go unnoticed for years! That’s not a logical assumption….since I work with folks with such disabilities, I read a great deal about it, and my conclusion is that it has OBVIOUSLY steadily increased with each decade. There are even some who state that auitsm is an “evolutionary advance”????

          Marjory, I’m in shock over how much health has declined in my lifetime (I’m 65) and that even with the obvious facing those in positions to make changes, nutrition is still ignored. (even vilified) Diabetics still receive official information that does NOTHING to help reverse their condition. Along with diabetes, children are also being diagnosed with liver disease..NAFL …non-alcoholic liver disease as young as 8!

          As for the thinner skull idea, would that not also translate into bones that break more easily? I joke that I perform my own bone density tests at least once a year..because I either slip on ice, or just trip over things outside. So far nothing but bruises!

          First I’ve heard of an opioid vaccine!!!! How can that help? Where is this world headed???

          One more thing that crosses my mind lately: The world’s resources are stretched pretty thin because of high population and the resulting pollution in soil, water and air. How much more can the Earth take? Remember the movie called “Soylent Green”…time for government folks to watch it..we are closer than ever to that state of affairs.

          My heart is saved by folks like you, Marjory, who are pulling all the positive work being done by gardeners, farmers and natural healers together and making the information accessible. Soil regeneration will keep us healthy.

          Jeanice, I would love to know when your book is finished!

  • Suzette Carlin says:

    There will always be the blame game where government is concerned. Way too much money is to be gained on the real reasons to ever tell the truth. A sad state of affairs when greed gets in the way of protecting the people. Just my opinion.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Suzette,

      I often wonder if the real solution is jut too big for anyone to take on. So why even bother.

      I mean, asking everyone to start growing some or all of their own food? LOL

  • sussanmercurio168 says:

    In the 60’s, I had a doctor who told me that he didn’t believe that Vitamin C had anything to do with health. (This was during the fad for taking megadoses of Vit C.) I was so astonished that I just gaped at him. Now – always later – I think I should have said, “What about scurvy?”
    Later, I made sure to study nutrition in college as part of my pre-med major, because THEY DON’T TEACH NUTRITION IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. When {everyone} tells you to consult your doctor about what you should eat or what supplement you should take, remember this!!! Doctors know less on this topic than a homeless person.
    Not only is poor nutrition a major contributing factor in the current state of poor health in the U.S., but the level of chemicals to which we are exposed increases our risk. The very house you live in is off-gassing toxins. The government is spraying carcinogens over our heads, called “bioengineering”. This, in synergy with our poor eating habits, creates a dangerous stew for our immune systems to work with.
    Sadly, most people are living at or below the poverty level. Most Americans are renters. They don’t have access to a place where they can grow their own food, and -in my experience – without transportation, even community gardens may be inaccessible.

    Moreover, there is a concerted effort from those who can profit from the current state of affairs: Big Pharma, Big Ag(riculture), and the Food Industry, to keep the same state of health going. It’s not profitable for them for the population to be healthy, or dead. The most profitable state of affairs for them is for people to be chronically ill. And whatever is profitable for the corporations will be what our government supports, since corporations now own the government. We can’t hope that the government will protect us any more.
    What we can and will do is to join together, just as we did before the American Revolution, and help ourselves and each other. This network is perfectly placed to get people in contact with each other and educate ourselves. We also need to think about the whole community, not just the people in our social class. This means finding ways to get better food to people who can’t afford it, and have no way to grow their own. It means to get out of our comfort zones and begin to build the kind of community that we want this country to be.
    *The Politics of Nonviolent Action; Gene Sharp, The Einstein Institute
    *BioengineeringWatch.org – Youtube
    *Detoxing Your Home Conference; Greensmoothiegirl.com 06/07/2018
    *Dr. Tom O’Bryan: “_______: The Autoimmune Secret They Aren’t Telling You About” (sorry, I blanked out on the name); thedr.com

    1. Jeanice says:

      great post Susan. Thanks.

    2. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Sussan, Lots of great points. I think it might have been Jonathan Otto with the autoimmune secrets?

    3. trdupont says:

      Great post, thanks! We do have do something as a community. For me I try to encourage people to grow their own food, primarily by showing them the difference in how an organic tomato taste, but also telling them how easy it is to grow your own tomatoes. Even an apartment dweller can probably grow a tomato plant, maybe even more.

      I live in the Detroit-Metro area and when I drive through the inner-city I see all the vacant lots and think, wow I could grow such-n-such there and something else other there. I wonder what it would it take to get the people in those neighborhoods to work that soil for themselves.? It’s just a dream right now, but I can see people in blighted neighborhoods eating wholesome, fresh food that they grew themselves, and it’s a happy vision. I just have work it out. Thanks for the inspiration!

      1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

        Hi TR,

        Yeah! I am also very passionate about community – that really is where I think we can focus our energies. I created a video about specifically how to build community uh, let me go grab that link….. https://thegrownetwork.com/build-community/ Gosh, I think the TGN editor at the time went a bit crazy with some of these headlines – pardon me for that 🙂

  • trdupont says:

    I believe that many, if not most, of our health issues stem from three basic problems: 1) The lack of fresh, whole food, 2) Too much “science” (i.e., pharmaceuticals, GMO’s, and commercial processing) in the food, and 3) Trusting people who are “practicing” medicine who have no idea what true nutrition really is.

    I could probably add a fourth root cause; the lack of physical exertion, or work. We cannot constantly eat MacDonald’s (or almost any other restaurant food) and sit on the couch watching other people do stuff and expect to be healthy.

    I’m a fifty-something guy and it breaks my heart to see people younger than me who can’t even walk a mile without being exhausted; let alone work all day in the garden digging and pruning and pulling weeds. Don’t even get me started on the lost art of axe skills. It’s just tragic how far our culture (US) has de-volved, no wonder we have a drug for every ailment, we’re too lazy and ignorant to invest ourselves in our own lives. This audience excluded of course.

    Sorry for the rant ;)’

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Your rant is right on TR. We are in a serious bad place right now…. lot’s of craziness. I know a lot of people don’t even fathom the magnitude of the problem, or that the solution is surprisingly do-able – although it involves some lifestyle changes.

      I find it feels like banging my head against a concrete wall sometimes trying to get through to people…. and it is very frustrating to see family and friends just destroying themselves.

      So, if you need to rant here, please consider this a safe place to do so.

  • htgand61 says:

    I was born in England in the 60’s and am looking after my parents who are 84 and 93 (Three out of four of my grandparents lived well into their nineties). They don’t have a lot wrong with them apart from the side effects of medication they didn’t really want. They are just wearing out. Naturally you look at your parents and think genetically you should also be able to live to a good age, but looking at major lifestyle differences, I may not get that far. They survived on rationed basics and homegrown food, including chickens and rabbits, during the 40’s and early 50’s, because of WW2. They continued to eat homegrown fruit and veg right up to today. I was born in the time of abundant food, altered beyond recognition, wrapped in contaminating plastic. I became increasingly interested in what I was eating whilst still at school. I decided to eat a lacto-vegetarian diet in 1978 for about 12 years. I managed to miss eating beef during the Mad Cow disease (CJD) crisis. It is increasingly difficult to buy food which hasn’t got chemicals in that I just don’t want to eat. Other factors like pollution and stress maybe factors that their bodies dealt with without problem, because they had good immune systems due to healthy eating. Me….. not so good.
    Our government has brought in a sugar tax to lessen the sugar content of drinks, but it is no good, because the manufacturers put in other toxic substances and make out its healthier.
    In answer to your question, no way have opioids got anything to do with shortening life expectancy unless the people, who invent these chemical concoctions that they call food, are on opioids at the time!

  • Belle Sparks says:

    Absolutely! All of this! Yes, yes, yes! Vaccines, sell you new bone strengthening medicines. I was taking my Dad for a “well checkup” which I think is ridiculous. I try to explain to him if he isn’t sick he probably will catch something while we are there, but he hates to let the doctor down. . . anyway back to the bones. There was an example of a big strong bone segment sliced in half and another example of a weak frail bone segment sliced in half to promote a new medicine they were selling to give you strong bones. Bones you could have for free if you just ate good healthy food from the beginning. I have ms, my mom, aunt, uncle, grandmother. I do believe it is a genetic passed down thing, but I have an open mind to an environmental factor that could have been an exposure point. Regardless, I have no doubt that I get more done and live a healthier, happy life than twenty year olds I see eating fries and I really believe it is because God has blessed me and given me good food and fresh air to breathe.:)!I watch them just sit and seem so sad and depressed, not just occasionally, but continuously. It breaks my heart and they seem to be unable to think straight. No common sense, listless, no life or spark in their eyes to motivate them. It is sad, really. Everyone needs a purpose, a place, to have value, health and access to good fresh home grown healthy food:)! I believe these childhood diseases, cancer and heart disease would all but disappear! I saw your video with Sally Fallon at the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit and it was wonderful!!! I can’t wait to share it with my family and I hope my Grandsons benefit from it! Finding your sight was like hearing everything I ever believed in being shared with so many! Thank you for all the hard work! It is meaningful and life changing:)!

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