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Life Expectancy and Obesity Health Indicators


Scientific research in the sphere of healthcare is often connected with the desire to describe the health of the population and the way it has changed. Trying to obtain the most accurate and authoritative results, professionals refer to the quantifiable characteristics of the population, which allows them to conduct measurements and come up with credible outcomes. Thus, they refer to health indicators, which provide an opportunity to describe health as a quantifiable concept. The list of these indicators is rather long, as it includes those focused on mortality, morbidity, nutrition, and other characteristics of people and communities. For example, the life expectancy rate and obesity rate are among the most general and widely used indicators.

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Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is seen as “the number of years a person is expected to live based on the statistical average” (Mandal, 2014, par. 1). This indicator includes the data, which reflects the life of all age groups during a particular time period in the defined geographical area. As it varies depending on the territory and era, it allows the professionals to find out how the health of the population altered with the course of time, considering the lifetime. As a rule, life expectancy is discussed averagely, which means that one can live for many years longer. This characteristic depends on people’s lifestyle, nutrition, social and economic condition and access to healthcare services, etc.

Using this health indicator, professionals can also find out the probability of surviving and the time remaining for individuals of different ages. Life expectancy can also be used to consider if the intervention targeted at the improvement of health is required immediately and to see how the population is affected by particular life-threatening things or treatments.


Morbidity indicators are also critical when determining the health condition of the population. They can reveal the prevalence of some illness or condition among the particular group of people as well as show their incidence, for example. Today, professionals refer to the obesity rates in this framework rather often as this condition has an enormous influence on people’s health. It can affect the duration of one’s life because of complications that individuals tend to experience. Healthcare professionals have already proved that individuals who suffer from obesity have more health issues than those who have normal weight. They are at high risk of having heart disease, which can lead to death. In addition to that, it is tightly connected with such crucial health issues as diabetes and even cancer (Statistics New Zealand, 2016).

In this way, knowing how many people are obese, professionals can receive an opportunity to presuppose how many people will face adverse health outcomes. Considering the age of individuals with obesity, scientists can also find out what interventions are required to cope with it and at the population of what age it should be targeted.


Public health surveillance is extremely critical for the determination of the healthcare of the population. It is maintained through systematic operations based on the collection and interpretation of specific data. This information is gathered with the focus on particular health indicators so that professionals receive an opportunity to see if the health status of the particular group of people altered with the course of time. With this information, they can develop and implement various initiatives targeted at different populations and aimed at the improvement of their health condition.


Mandal, A. (2014). What is life expectancy? 

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Statistics New Zealand. (2016). Obesity. 

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