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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Americans are living better, longer

Recent predictions that the obesity epidemic will lead to shorter lifespans for today’s young adults are challenged by a new study conducted by Massachusetts researchers, which suggests a more optimistic outlook: The average 25-year-old today can expect to enjoy at least two extra years of a healthy life compared with those a generation ago.

The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, used data from six different government surveys conducted from 1987 to 2008 to calculate the “quality-adjusted life expectancy,” which is the number of years Americans can expect to live in good health, free of disease, disability, and mental illness.

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