Thursday, October 11, 2007

Live Long Eat Less

A recent study shows that Cuba might be surpassing US life expectancy (link), because of poverty during the 1990s that caused a decrease in calorie intake. I wonder where the optimal caloric intake is in terms of life expectancy. If we look at a graph of life expectancy and GDP per capita, I do not think we see a positive relationship between poverty and life expectancy. It looks like life expectancy stops increasing at about 10,000 per capita. The big outlier in this case is South Africa, which can be explained by HIV. For some reason Cuba isn’t listed on the graph (perhaps lack of data?), given Cuba’s per capita income of about $5,000 a person we would expect life expectancy base on the data to be close to similar countries like Guatemala and Morocco, which have life expectancy of around 70 years compared to about 77 in the US.

I'll have what Fidel is having to eat.

1 comment:

holyknitter said...

I wonder if Cuba's health care system (apparently excellent?) has anything to do with longer life expectancy, as well.