An article by Kirk Spitzer in the AARP Bulletin highlights the Nagano region of Japan as the area with the longest life expectancy in the world. It is also number one in employment rate for those over the age of 65, and vegetable consumption per capita. According to data from, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, women there can expect to live an average of 87.2 years and men 80.9 years.
Health InformationAggressive government intervention in this region of 2.1 million people began in the 1980's. First, health officials hosted seminars and clinics, and even made regular home visits to measure (with the intent of reducing) the salt content in daily meals and make dietary recommendations. In a single decade the rates of hypertension and related illnesses declined and the life expectancy increased three+ years. Then, local governments were joined by the business community to disseminate health information and offer widespread blood pressure monitoring. These preventive measures dramatically lowered average health care costs.
Healthy LifestyleLocal governments also encouraged all people to exercise and provided public spaces for them to do so. In addition, they recommended postponing retirement to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nearly 25% of people over the age of 65 are still in the workforce. We can all learn from the Nagano experience and hopefully live longer with a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309