Welcome to Healthy lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle: 5 keys to a longer life - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing

2020.11.09 09:04


Search Cart Admin HEALTH TOPICS

Browse by Topic

Heart Health Back Blood Pressure Cholesterol Coronary Artery Disease Heart Attack Heart Failure Heart Medications Stroke Mind & Mood Back Addiction Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Anxiety Depression Improving Memory Mental Health Positive Psychology Stress Pain Back Arthritis Back Pain Headache Joint Replacement Other Pain Staying Healthy Back Aging Balance & Mobility Diet & Weight Loss Energy & Fatigue Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Physical Activity Screening Tests for Men Screening Tests for Women Sleep Cancer Back Breast Cancer Colorectal Cancer Other Cancers Prostate Health & Disease Skin Cancer Diseases & Conditions Back Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Diabetes Digestive Health Heart Disease More Diseases & Conditions Osteoporosis Stroke Thyroid Diseases Men's Health Back Birth Control Erectile Dysfunction Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Men's Sexual Health Prostate Cancer Prostate Health & Disease Screening Tests for Men Women's Health Back Birth Control Breast Health & Disease Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Menopause Osteoporosis Pregnancy Screening Tests for Women Women's Sexual Health Children's Health Back Adult & Child ADHD Autism Developmental Milestones Learning Disabilities Nutrition Nutrition for children Parenting Issues Physical Activity Vaccinations Licensing

Search Harvard Health Publishing

What can we help you find? Enter search terms and tap the Search button. Both articles and products will be searched.

Shopping Cart

Description Qty Price The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating (Print - Free U.S. Shipping!) $20.00 Improving Memory: Understanding Age-Related Memory Loss (PDF - Lowest Price!) $18.00 Harvard Health Letter (Print & Online Access (PDF)!) $16.00 Subtotal $54.00 Update Cart Checkout

Please note: If you have a promotional code you'll be prompted to enter it prior to confirming your order.

Customer Sign In

Returning Customer

If you have an account, please sign in.

New Customers

If you subscribe to any of our print newsletters and have never activated your online account, please activate your account below for online access. By activating your account, you will create a login and password. You only need to activate your account once.

Activate My Account

Library Manage Print Subscriptions Edit Account Settings Customer Service Sign Out

Pay Your Bill Online

Pay My Bill »

Pay My Bill » Cart Free Healthbeat Signup Shop ▼ Subscribe Special Health Reports Books Account ▼ Cart Library Manage Print Subscriptions Edit Account Settings Customer Service Sign Out Sign In Heart Health

Inside Heart Health:

Blood Pressure Cholesterol Coronary Artery Disease Heart Attack Heart Failure Heart Medications Stroke

Featured Content:

Beyond "bad" cholesterol: A closer look at your blood lipids Heart-related complications in people hospitalized with the flu Seed of the month: Pumpkin seeds When walking leads to leg pain Why you should move — even just a little — throughout the day

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Stay on top of heart failure symptoms

Self-help for atrial fibrillation

Grapefruit juice and statins

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Mind & Mood

Inside Mind & Mood:

Addiction Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Anxiety Depression Improving Memory Mental Health Positive Psychology Stress

Featured Content:

Blood test could find Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear Happy holidays? The thinking on flavonoids Tips to improve concentration Worries on your mind

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Medications for depression: Which is best?

What is cognitive reserve?

Non-drug treatments for adult ADHD

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Pain

Inside Pain:

Arthritis Back Pain Headache Joint Replacement Other Pain

Featured Content:

Use topical painkillers for strains and sprains Can home remedies help my sciatica? Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tic Douloureux) Relief for sore backsides Will my herniated disc heal on its own?

See All

In Case You Missed It:

5 exercises to improve hand mobility

When to seek immediate medical attention for neck pain

5 tips for coping with sciatica

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Staying Healthy

Inside Staying Healthy:

Aging Balance & Mobility Diet & Weight Loss Energy & Fatigue Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Physical Activity Screening Tests for Men Screening Tests for Women Sleep

Featured Content:

5 factors to help you gauge where COVID-19 risk is highest 5 things to know about your morning cup of joe About face Are you healthy enough to age in place? New ingredient may keep bugs at bay

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Slow down—and try mindful eating

The best anti-inflammatory diets

Clean eating: The good and the bad

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Cancer

Inside Cancer:

Breast Cancer Colorectal Cancer Other Cancers Prostate Health & Disease Skin Cancer

Featured Content:

Gum disease linked to an increased risk for cancer More daily movement may lower cancer deaths Oral health problems may raise cancer risk Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung Throat Cancer (Larynx and Pharynx)

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Treating prostate cancer with combined hormonal-radiation therapy

Androgens, the family of male sex hormones that includes testosterone, function as a fuel for growth in normal development.

Can diet help fight prostate cancer?

Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer?

Most melanomas start as new spots

Most melanomas come in the form of a new spot on the skin, not changes to an existing mole. Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Diseases & Conditions

Inside Diseases & Conditions:

Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Diabetes Digestive Health Heart Disease More Diseases & Conditions Osteoporosis Stroke Thyroid Diseases

Featured Content:

Feel woozy? Do this first How does inflammation increase the risk for heart attacks? Should I worry about a sudden swollen tongue? The new-old way to treat gout What could cause low blood pressure?

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Warning signs of a serious eye problem

Choosing the right sunglasses

11 ways to curb your drinking

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Men's Health

Inside Men's Health:

Birth Control Erectile Dysfunction Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Men's Sexual Health Prostate Cancer Prostate Health & Disease Screening Tests for Men

Featured Content:

Get back in sexual sync Plant protein may help you live longer Speaking up about orgasms Does human growth hormone slow the aging process? The no-drug approach to erectile dysfunction

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Treatment: Watchful waiting for an enlarged prostate

5 things that can scuttle good sex

An enlarged prostate gland and incontinence

Some men with an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short) eventually start to experience urinary incontinence, the involuntary discharge of urine. Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Women's Health

Inside Women's Health:

Birth Control Breast Health & Disease Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Menopause Osteoporosis Pregnancy Screening Tests for Women Women's Sexual Health

Featured Content:

A silent condition may be taking a toll on your health Can acupuncture help my menopause symptoms? Smokers may have higher risk of brain aneurysm Protect your bones with tai chi Uterine Cancer

See All

In Case You Missed It:

The muscle-bone connection

The best exercises for your bones

Hypothyroidism symptoms and signs in an older person

Some people over age 60 have few, if any, symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), while others experience the same symptoms younger people do. Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Children's Health

Inside Children's Health:

Adult & Child ADHD Autism Developmental Milestones Learning Disabilities Nutrition Nutrition for children Parenting Issues Physical Activity Vaccinations

Featured Content:

Different types of heart murmurs Should I worry about grandkids’ sports? CPR Resource Center School Lunches Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Licensing Home Harvard Health Blog Healthy lifestyle: 5 keys to a longer life - Harvard Health Blog

Healthy lifestyle: 5 keys to a longer life

Posted July 05, 2018, 10:30 am , Updated March 25, 2020, 12:00 am Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Contributor

How is it that the United States spends the most money on healthcare, and yet still has the one of the lowest life expectancies of all developed nations? (To be specific: $9,400 per capita, 79 years, and 31st.)

Maybe those of us in healthcare have been looking at it all wrong, for too long.

Healthy lifestyle and longevity

Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a massive study of the impact of health habits on life expectancy, using data from the well-known Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). This means that they had data on a huge number of people over a very long period of time. The NHS included over 78,000 women and followed them from 1980 to 2014. The HPFS included over 40,000 men and followed them from 1986 to 2014. This is over 120,000 participants, 34 years of data for women, and 28 years of data for men.

The researchers looked at NHS and HPFS data on diet, physical activity, 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 prior studies have shown them to have a large impact on risk of premature death. Here is how these healthy habits were defined and measured:

1.   Healthy diet , which was calculated and rated based on the reported intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, and unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.

2.  Healthy physical activity level , which was measured as at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.

3.    Healthy body weight , defined as a normal body mass index (BMI), which is between 18.5 and 24.9.

4.   Smoking , well, there is no healthy amount of smoking. “Healthy” here meant never having smoked.

5.    Moderate alcohol intake , which was measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women, and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, one drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

Researchers also looked at data on age, ethnicity, and medication use, as well as comparison data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.

Does a healthy lifestyle make a difference?

As it turns out, healthy habits make a big difference. According to this analysis, people who met criteria for all five habits enjoyed significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none: 14 years for women and 12 years for men (if they had these habits at age 50). People who had none of these habits were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Study investigators also calculated life expectancy by how many of these five healthy habits people had. Just one healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one … extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan. This is one of those situations where I wish I could reprint their graphs for you, because they’re so cool. (But if you’re very curious, the article is available online, and the graphs are on page 7 . Check out Graph B, “Estimated life expectancy at age 50 according to the number of low-risk factors.”)

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 people 50 and older who were normal weight, had never smoked, and drank alcohol in moderation lived on average seven years longer. A 2012 mega-analysis of 15 international studies that included over 500,000 participants found that over half of premature deaths were due to unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking. And the list of supporting research goes on.

So what’s our (big) problem?

As the authors of this study point out, in the US we tend to spend outlandishly on developing fancy drugs and other treatments for diseases, rather than on trying to prevent them. This is a big problem.

Experts have suggested that the best way to help people make healthy diet and lifestyle change is at the large-scale, population level, through public health efforts and policy changes. (Kind of like motorcycle helmets and seat belt legislation…) We have made a little progress with tobacco and trans-fat legislation .

There’s a lot of pushback from big industry on that, of course. If we have guidelines and laws helping us to live healthier, big companies aren’t going to sell as much fast food, chips, and soda. And for companies hell-bent on making money at the cost of human life, well, that makes them very angry.

Follow me on Twitter @drmoniquetello

Sources

Impact of healthy lifestyle factors on life expectancies in the US population . Circulation , April 2018.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, What is a standard drink?

The population health benefits of a healthy lifestyle: Life expectancy increased and onset of disability delayed . Health Affairs , August 2017.

The combined effects of healthy lifestyle behaviors on all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis . Preventive Medicine , September 2012.

Changing minds about changing behavior . Lancet , January 2018.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Final Determination regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils (trans fat)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act- An Overview

Related Information: Healthy Eating: A guide to the new nutrition

Print

Related Posts:

Will a purpose-driven life help you live longer? 6 keys to finding a high-quality addiction treatment center The best place to launch a healthy lifestyle? Your kitchen Healthy lifestyle can prevent diabetes (and even reverse it) Good news for those with type 2 diabetes: Healthy… Comments 46 Topics Health | Prevention

Comments:

Posted September 3rd, 2018 at 4:16 am asss

ad diets or straight to the fridge…
To have a better life style one

Posted August 10th, 2018 at 9:42 am Dana

Great article and insight. Education is key when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. I am curious as to why stress management was not looked at? Numerous research studies have shown stress to be a factor in heart disease, reducing life expectancy. Also, hydration is important and often overlooked. So many factors are involved when it comes to our health.

Posted August 1st, 2018 at 5:41 am Ian Lewis

Jen strongly support your individual freedom perspective, and with this freedom is its connection to responsibility of individuals, corporations, state, et al.

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 1:16 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

And I support your “with freedom comes responsibilities” perspective, Ian, Thank you!

Posted July 24th, 2018 at 7:20 am Joshua MIller

Excellent article. But i think we can also add Yoga in the top priorities. Yoga is considered as one of the best thing that can reverse the aging effects significantly at home. There are several poses that can boost the blood circulation and provide the essential nutrition to various cells. I have found an article entitled ” 21 Yoga Poses for Anti Aging – Yoga Turns the Clock Back”

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 1:17 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Yoga is fantastic for many reasons. Thanks, Joshua.

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 4:34 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Thanks Frances, Yes, this is part of the healthy lifestyle generally!

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 4:34 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Yes, There is evidence to suggest that artificial sweeteners are unhealthy in many ways, and they definitely are not associated with weight loss.

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 4:33 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Dear S, I agree that a high-quality diet and healthy lifestyle are more important than weight as a number. But if a person is suffering from a disease that can respond well to weight loss, then it only makes sense to include healthy weight loss as part of the plan. This can be done safely, without fad diets.

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 4:29 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Bob, that was well-stated. Yes, it’s hard to look at the numbers, but even harder to look at my patient with multiple serious chronic illnesses and disability due to poor diet and lifestyle, which could have been prevented. Time for us all to wisen up.

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 4:26 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Sorry, Jen, for wanting to help you to live the healthiest, happiest, longest life you possibly can! Promoting the healthiest options for people is what doctoring is all about.

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 4:24 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Carolyn, agree completely, a plant-based Mediterranean style diet is the best diet for health. That includes some whole grains, ideally in intact form (such as farro, quinoa, and brown rice), some healthy proteins and fats (legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, chicken), and mostly fruits and veggies. Refined grains, like white flour and sugar, and everything made from them (bread, pastas, backed goods, cereals, et cetera) are the real culprit.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 1:01 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Hi, No. Our bodies handle intact whole grains very differently from processed whole grains, and handles those very differently than refined grains. Check out the HSPH Nutrition Source website on this: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/whole-grains/

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:58 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Yes, regular intake of one drink or fewer per day of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer in certain individuals, slightly.
The summary statement from one of the main research summaries on this is:
“Clearly, the greatest cancer risks are concentrated in the heavy and moderate drinker categories. Nevertheless, some cancer risk persists even at low levels of consumption. A meta-analysis that focused solely on cancer risks associated with drinking one drink or fewer per day observed that this level of alcohol consumption was still associated with some elevated risk for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, oropharyngeal cancer, and breast cancer, but no discernable associations were seen for cancers of the colorectum, larynx, and liver. On the basis of the lesser overall cancer risk at the lower end of the dose-response continuum, the World Cancer Research Fund/AICR made the following recommendation: ‘If alcoholic drinks are consumed, limit consumption to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.'” You can check out the entire article here: http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2017.76.1155

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:50 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Good for you! It may be a combination of factors.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:49 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

You are welcome!

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:49 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Thanks Peter, Yes, prevention is key, and I think the tide is turning on that. I will tell you that as a physician, I recommend to people that they get their fiber from a health diet rather than supplements, preferably.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:48 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Thanks so much and agree with all of your suggestions.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:47 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Hi Walter, Yes, there are no less than a gazillion research studies linking tobacco and cancer with fairly accurate quantification of the risks. Check out the Cancer.gov website (part of the National Institutes of Health) link below for some referenced information:
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:42 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Hi Carl, I can’t speak for these industries, but I can imagine which type of innovation would be ore highly profitable over the long term.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:41 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Thanks Jim, I agree, prescribers really had no financial incentive. There was a huge push to prescribe these based on erroneous ideas about the risks and benefits, many of which were promoted by the pharmaceuticals industry, who had very clear (and large) financial incentives.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:39 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Hi Tom, Yes, as reported: “Study investigators also calculated life expectancy by how many of these five healthy habits people had. Just one healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one… extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan.” All of these results were statistically significant. There is a link to the actual study at the bottom of the post, it’s very clearly written, take a look.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:37 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Thanks NutritionWHIT, appreciated! MT

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:37 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Thanks, Peter, really appreciated! MT

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 12:36 pm Monique Tello, MD, MPH

I agree with you that there is big industry interest in maintaining the current unhealthy Western lifestyle, Azure. I also agree that certain pharmaceuticals manufacturers profited off of the popularity of opioids. Not sure how you can state the same of the prescribers, as I can’t see how there could have been a direct (or even indirect) financial incentive.

Posted July 12th, 2018 at 6:22 pm Carolyn

I agree with David (9th July comment) with regard to diet. Whole grains can indeed have the effect of spiking blood sugar (whole grain bread as just one example) and creating gut inflammation, and therefore low-grade, sub-acute inflammation in general. This is the biggest contributor to chronic disease that we are facing, long-term inflammation. The standard food pyramid is, in my opinion, all wrong. I believe we should eat a more Mediterranean diet, and minimise the grain-based carbohydrates, and the sugars. Then we are considerably further down the track towards a healthy diet that promotes longevity. Of course, all of the other factors mentioned are important as well, but what we put into our mouths is probably the most important, given the skyrocketing rates of obesity first world countries are facing, and now even asian countries as well, who are well and truly catching up.

Posted July 10th, 2018 at 7:23 pm Jen

Very clear informative article. My only problem is her support a broad scale public policy that would tell people what to eat. We are not a communist country. The United States is a republic a constitutional republic where people believe that they can govern themselves. The notion that government should tell me what to eat is the absolute tyranny and tells me that this doctor needs to have a lesson in civics as well the pitfalls of scientism. I suspect she is thinking in terms of cost of care which is a utilitarian Marxist approach to human life. I don’t know what happened to this generation that they are so ignorant when it comes to Liberty and freedom versus government encroachment and parenting.

Posted July 10th, 2018 at 10:52 am Bob

A very good read. I think you hit the nail on the head and perhaps a few people’s fingers with your comments. USA has about 5% of the world’s population yet issues about 50% of all medical prescriptions worldwide. Common sense would tell us that the more people are well the less the need for public health, medicines and health facilities. An inverse relationship exists which implies an impressive health bill an indication of sickness not wellness. Public health can only be realistically addressed by governments acting in the public’s interest. The amount of money paid to political parties by lobbyists is very tiny compared to the money paid by the health budget and tax payer. Corporations need a cultural shift and to be aware of the growing dissatisfaction by health advocates trying to protect the general public.

Posted July 10th, 2018 at 1:23 am S

Not everyone can be in the “healthy body weight”. each person has their own set point of weight. Some research shows that what is called “overwieght” BMI is also OK. For an Obese Nation like the US, setting the “normal” BMI as a goal is too much, and sends many people to dangerous fad diets or straight to the fridge
To have a better life style one should not focus on results like BMI, but on the changes and the way to get them.

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 9:58 pm Laxman Gaddamwar

Another factor often overlooked is the rampant use of artificial flavours synthesised in laboratories and used to fool people with respect to the natural flavours derived from fresh fruits and vegetables.
This fools the human olfactory system to devour more and probably is at the heart of addictive eating patterns of unhealthy fast food.

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 7:17 pm Frances Affandy0

To which i would add Good Night’s Sleep and Being Useful everyday

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 6:18 pm Jerry

What role does nationality or culture play? For example Norwegian ancestry versus Irish ancestry or Japanese ancestry

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 3:24 pm David

I see you tout “whole grains” over “processed foods” don’t these have very similar blood sugar GI impacts and thus spike blood sugar and inflammation?

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 2:02 pm Brian C Whitaker

Under “moderate alcohol intake” it doesn’t say if zero is bad or good (it’s outside the stated range).

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 1:50 pm Jon Blair

What about the the recent research that shows that even moderate drinking such as one glass of beer or wine per day increases the risk of cancer?

Is this research significant?

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 1:47 pm Ann

Newsflash from an 88 year old female who looks 74 ! No one
believes my age, as I am mentally alert as well as physically well
For my age. I have no idea why I am so fortunate. Could it be
Genetic? Or life style ? Or perhaps nutrition? I even drive at night !

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 1:28 pm Waris kazi

Thanks so much for this article.

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 1:20 pm Peter

I got a degree in Health Education in 1978 because it seemed obvious to me that “soon” lots of money and health resources would go toward preventive health care. 40 years later, that still hasn’t happened, as the article points out!
I feel good that during my life, I have been able to help with preventive health care in a different way. I was able to help sell millions of bottles of dietary fiber supplements, which do have a significant preventive health benefit for people who use them.

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 1:11 pm TC

Yes, spend money on prevention to reduce money on treatment in the first place. And, can you legislate portion sizes? It’s no secret that restaurants in America pride themselves on huge portions of food and people scratch their heads at the insane obesity levels in America. The American thinking of bigger and more is always better is just sending people to an earlier grave and only big business seems to care more about protecting it’s right vs politicians caring about the health of a nation.

It’s not just the US though, obviously. It’s a worldwide problem in many countries. America just seems to be the front-runner. Well, that’s not something to be proud of as ‘title holder’.

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 1:06 pm Walter Ferine

Very valuable . Is there a study of the affects of smoking based on the number of years an individual had smoked and the number of years that the individual had not smoked?

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 12:57 pm Carl

Does that mean drug companies are interested in finding cures or only therapies. Which is more profitable? I will let you answer that question!

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 12:54 pm Jim Brown

Most of the opioids come into the U.S. and are made in and shipped from China. They are ordered via the internet. The opiod crisis isn’t just from physicians prescribing these drugs.

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 12:45 pm Tom

The article reports the lifespan difference between those with all 5 habits versus none (14 years for women and 12 years for men). This sounds impressive, but what’s the difference between those at the middle (3 good habits) versus those with all 5? How many years and is it even statistically significant? Articles like these should focus on not only the most dramatic headline number, but also the more realistic gains achievable by average people making smaller improvements in their lifestyles.

Posted July 9th, 2018 at 9:54 am NutritionWHIT

Thank you for putting together this blog post. Very clear and concise information. Detailed statistics ect. And yet not to long lol. Cheers,
-NutritionWhit

Posted July 6th, 2018 at 8:13 pm Peter

I wondered upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

Posted July 6th, 2018 at 3:46 pm azure

You forgot the auto industry, pesticide manufacturers, plastics manufacturers, BigPharma, and who knows what other industry “sectors” that benefit from the mainstream US “lifestyle” including addiction to a variety of substances. Greedy physicians bear some of the responsibility as well, they’re the ones who have overprescribed opoids.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Sign Up Now For
HEALTH beat
Our FREE E-Newsletter

Get weekly health information and advice from the experts at Harvard Medical School.

Recent Posts

Early birds may be more active, but night owls can catch up Nov 06, 2020 Type 2 diabetes: Which medication is best for me? Nov 05, 2020 It’s still true: Not all the news about COVID-19 is bad Nov 04, 2020 Coping With IBS Nov 03, 2020 Defusing the “Benadryl challenge”: Discussing danger with teens Nov 02, 2020

Recent Comments

Comment on It’s still true: Not all the news about COVID-19 is bad Comment on Intermittent fasting: Does a new study show downsides — or not? Comment on Intermittent fasting: Does a new study show downsides — or not? Comment on Intermittent fasting: Does a new study show downsides — or not? Comment on Illness-related fatigue: More than just feeling tired

Archive

2020 November October September August July June May April March February January 2019 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2018 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2017 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2016 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2015 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2014 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2013 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2012 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2011 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2010 December November October September August 2009 December November October September June April March February

Our Experts

Howard LeWine, M.D. Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing Nancy Ferrari Managing Director and Executive Editor, Harvard Health Publishing Heidi Godman Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter Kelly Bilodeau Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch Matthew Solan Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch Julie Corliss Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

View all of our experts

Harvard Health Bestsellers

Walking for Health Stretching: 35 exercises to improve flexibility and reduce pain A Guide to Men s Health Fifty and Forward Fighting Inflammation Controlling Your Blood Pressure

Follow Harvard Health Publishing

Become a Fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Disclaimer:

The contents displayed within this public group(s), such as text, graphics, and other material ("Content") are intended for educational purposes only. The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in a public group(s).

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately. Any mention of products or services is not meant as a guarantee, endorsement, or recommendation of the products, services, or companies. Reliance on any information provided is solely at your own risk. Please discuss any options with your healthcare provider.

The information you share, including that which might otherwise be Protected Health Information, to this site is by design open to the public and is not a private, secure service. You should think carefully before disclosing any personal information in any public forum. What you have written may be seen, disclosed to, or collected by third parties and may be used by others in ways we are unable to control or predict, including to contact you or otherwise be used for unauthorized or unlawful purposes. As with any public forum on any site, this information may also appear in third-party search engines like Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. Your use of this site is governed by Harvard University and its affiliates Terms of Use located at www.health.harvard.edu/privacy-policy and may be amended from time to time.

View Less

The contents displayed within this public group(s), such as text, graphics, and other material ("Content") are intended for educational purposes only. The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. . . .

View More

Topics

Addiction Adolescent health Alcohol Bones and joints Concussions Cooking and recipes Coronavirus and COVID-19 Cosmetic surgery Environmental health Fatigue Fertility Folk remedies Food as medicine Health Addiction Allergies Alzheimer s Disease Anxiety and Depression Arthritis Asthma Autoimmune diseases Back Pain Behavioral Health Brain and cognitive health Breast Cancer Cancer Caregiving Children s Health Cold and Flu Complementary and alternative medicine Dental Health Diabetes Diet and Weight Loss Digestive Disorders Drugs and Supplements Ear, nose, and throat Emergency Planning End of life Exercise and Fitness Eye Health Family Planning and Pregnancy First Aid Foot Care Genes Headache Health care Health care disparities Health policy Healthy Aging Healthy Eating Hearing Loss Heart Health Hypertension and Stroke Incontinence Infectious diseases Injuries Kidney and urinary tract Lung disease Managing your health care Medical Research Memory Men s Health Menopause Mental Health Migraines Mind body medicine Neurological conditions Osteoarthritis Osteoporosis Pain Management Parenting Pets Pregnancy Prevention Prostate Health Radiation Relationships Safety Screening Sex Sexual Conditions Skin and Hair Care Sleep Smoking cessation Stress Surgery Tests and procedures Thyroid Disorders Travel health Vaccines Women s Health Workplace health Yoga Health trends HIV Immunotherapy Infertility Inflammation LGBTQ+ Marijuana Memory Nutrition Probiotics Prostate Knowledge BPH Diagnosis ED Hematospermia Incontinence Living With Prostate Cancer Patient Perspectives Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia Prostatitis Q & A Risks and Prevention Screening Treatments Vitamins and supplements Sign up for HEALTHbeat Digital Subscriptions Special Health Reports Print Subscriptions Customer Service About Us Permissions Do Not Sell My Personal Information Privacy Policy Facebook Twitter RSS © 2010 - 2020 Harvard University. All rights reserved.

Vivamus fermentum nibh