Longevity as commodity

Following up on an earlier post about the first-ever recorded drop in the lifespan of American women, I came across this piece by TechNewsWorld columnist Sonia Arrison. It’s hardly suprising that the biotech industry views this dismal demographic shift as just another market opportunity. But I was so horrified by the columnist’s position that I had to comment:

Arrison observes that a new drug “may help Americans in pockets around the country where life expectancy took a beating” but glosses over the fact those pockets are dirt poor. is Sitris going to give the drug away to Appalachian women? somehow I doubt it. there aren’t a lot of sushi restaurants in the southern plains; are these women “choosing an unhealthy lifestyle they enjoy,” or unable to afford much besides fast food for their families? different classes in America face very different sets of choices. Arrison’s elitism is ignorant at best and racist at worst.

For an excellent overview of why the United States has slipped over the last two decades from #11 in life expectancy to #42 , read Whatever Happened to American Longevity? on Alternet.

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