In fact in the US case it’s not even obesity, or indeed their greater pre-existing disease burden, that is doing most of the work in dragging their life expectancy down; it’s accidental and violent deaths. It is tragic that the US is so dangerous, but it’s not the fault of the healthcare system; indeed, it’s an extra burden that US healthcare spending must bear. Just simply normalising for violent and accidental death puts the USA right to the top of the life expectancy rankings.
Pointer from Tyler Cowen. That is what I have in mind when I claim that one of our cultural problems is that we spend too much on health care and not enough on public health. I would rather put money to work on efforts to reduce violent and accidental death than on futile care in the last year of life.