A Healthy Lifestyle Can Add 14 Years to Your Life!
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
It’s always nice to be reminded about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle – and exactly what this means. And this month, a new study (Professor Kay-Tee Khaw, Cambridge University) does just that.
Scientists studied the lifestyle habits of more than 20,000 men and women aged between 45 and 79 years between 1993 and 1997.
The adults were given one point for each of four healthy behaviours:
- Not smoking
- Being active
- Sticking to acceptable alcohol intakes
- Eating plenty of fruit and veg.
The people were then followed up around 11 years later.
Those who scored zero points due to smoking, being inactive, drinking too much and having poor intakes of fruit and veg, were four times more likely to have died during the study than those who scored four points for fulfilling all the healthy lifestyle factors.
Those who scored two points – in other words they had two unhealthy lifestyle habits but two healthy ones – were twice as likely to have died.
The scientists then worked out that a person who scored zero had the same risk of dying as someone with a score of four who was 14 years older.
As a result, they conclude that ditching just four unhealthy habits can help you live 14 years longer.
This is one of the few studies that looks at the combined effects of different aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
It shows that the risk of dying, particularly from heart disease, decreases as the number of positive health behaviours increase.
The message is simple: give up the weed, eat five fruit and veg, don’t drink too much and be more active – and you can expect to live longer.
All these behaviours will also help shift those pounds, which research has also shown will help you see extra birthdays in your old age.
You can use the food diary and database tools in WLR to make sure your diet is healthy, balanced and contains the right amount of calories. Try it free for 24 hours.