Improved wellbeing with a healthy lifestyle
How is it that the United States spends the most money on health care, and yet still gets one of the lowest life expectancies of all developed nations?
Maybe those folks in healthcare have been looking at it all wrong, for too much time.
Healthy lifestyle and longevity
Analysts conducted in-depth research on the impact of health habits on life span, using data from regular individuals and the Health Professionals. Which means that that they had data on a wide array of people over an extremely long time frame.
The researchers viewed data on diet, exercise, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption that had been collected from regularly administered, validated questionnaires.
What is a healthy lifestyle, exactly?
These five areas were chosen because preceding studies show these to have a big impact on the risk of early death. Here's how these healthy habits were defined and measured:
1. A healthy diet, which was computed and rated based on the reported intake of well-balanced meals like vegetables, fruits, nut products, whole grains, healthy body fat, and omega-3 essential fatty acids, and processed foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fats, and sodium.
2. Healthy exercise level, which was assessed as at least thirty minutes per day of moderate to strenuous activity daily.
3. Healthy body weight, defined as a standard body mass index (BMI), which is between 18.5 and 24.9.
4. Smoking, well, there is absolutely no healthy amount of smoking. “Healthy” here meant never having smoked.
5. Moderate alcoholic beverages intake, that was assessed as between 5 and 15 grams each day for ladies, and 5 to 30 grams each day for men. Generally, one drink consists of about 14 grams of natural alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beverage, 5 ounces of wines, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
Researchers also viewed data on age group, ethnicity, and medication use, as well as assessment data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Research and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Data for In-Depth Research.
Does a healthy lifestyle make a difference?
As it works out, healthy habits make a huge difference. According to this analysis, people who met criteria for all those five habits liked significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none: 14 years for females and 12 years for men. Individuals who had none of these habits were far more likely to pass away prematurely from a tumor or cardiovascular disease.
Study researchers also calculated life span by just how many of the five healthy behaviors people had. Just one single healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one… expanded life expectancy by 2 yrs in women and men. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people experienced, the much longer their lifespan. This is one of those situations where I wish I possibly could reprint their graphs for you because they’re so cool.
This is huge. And, it confirms prior similar research – a lot of prior similar research. A 2017 study using data from the Health and Retirement Study found that individuals 50 and older who were normal weight, got never smoked, and drank alcohol in moderation resided on average seven years much longer. A 2012 mega-analysis of 15 international studies that included over 500,000 individuals discovered that over fifty percent of premature deaths were credited to unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking. And the list of assisting research continues on.
So what’s the problem
As the authors of this study explain, in the US we tend to spend outlandishly on developing fancy drugs and other treatments for diseases, rather than on trying to avoid them. This is a large problem.
Experts have suggested that the ultimate way to help people make healthy diet and lifestyle change reaches the large-scale, human population level, through public health attempts and policy changes. Similarly as motorbike helmets and chair belt legislation… We've made just a little progress with tobacco and trans-fat legislation. That is my try to deliver what spent some time working for me and I encourage you to participate.
There’s a great deal of pushback from big industry on that, of course. If we've guidelines and laws and regulations assisting us to live healthier, big companies aren’t heading to market as much junk food, potato chips, and soda. As well as for companies hell-bent on making money at the price of human being life, well, which makes them very furious.