There is a saying that “the truth is always encountered but rarely perceived”. And this applies to the wealth of daily information on lifestyle and health. Every day or so it seems, new research shows that some aspect of lifestyle- physical activity, diet, alcohol consumption and so on- affects health and longevity. And this information can become confusing. What is a healthy diet for example?
Although there are common themes such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, the details often differ between studies. Exactly how much physical activity is needed to ensure health? The situation with alcohol consumption is equally confusing. Enter the Norfolk Study, a study of the COMBINED impact of four behavioral traits monitored in 20,000 middle aged and older men and women living in Norfolk England between 1993 and 1997 with deaths among the participants recorded until 2006.
Four behaviors were studied and a health score of 0 to 4 given to each participant based on the presence or absence of that behavior: non-smoking status, physical activity, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily as measured by Vitamin C levels, and moderate consumption of alcohol defines as 1-2 glasses of wine daily or half a pint of beer daily or a shot of whiskey daily. People with a health behavioral score of 0 were four times likely to have died than people with a score of 4.
When the data was analyzed thoroughly, it emerged that people exhibiting all four healthy behaviors as part of their lifestyle lived an average of 14 years longer than their non-adherent counterparts. So think about it. You know intuitively that positive lifestyle change is good. This study sheds light on the confusion about lifestyle behaviors and tells you without a doubt that enabling these four behaviors- no smoking, physical activity, five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and moderate alcohol consumption- will decrease your chances of chronic disease and allow you to prolong your life by a average of 14 years.
This is simple stuff and it’s true. So what are you waiting for? We all need to start somewhere! For more information call or email the clinic.