Americans live shorter lives than people in most other high-income countries.
In a 2018 study, researchers tracked roughly 123,000 U.S. men and women for 30 years. Then they identified five “low-risk lifestyle factors”:
- Never smoking
- Normal body weight
- More than 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise a day
- Moderate alcohol intake
- A healthy diet
A “healthy diet” was high in vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 fats and low in red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.
At age 50, someone with all five factors could expect to live 43 more years (women) or 38 more years (men). A 50-year-old with none of the factors could expect to live only 29 more years (women) or 26 more years (men).
What to do
- Why small amounts of weight gain shouldn’t go unchecked
- How much diet and exercise can lower your blood pressure
The information in this post first appeared in the June 2018 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.
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