The study, conducted by Dr Frank Hu, found that avoiding five unhealthy habits increases the likelihood of living diabetes-free.
Rabat – A new study concluded that abstaining from smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and eating unhealthy food, whilst maintaining a healthy weight and exercising can lead to a longer lifespan.
Focussing on these five factors increases the likelihood of living a life free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. The study also revealed that people who adopted at least four of the five recommended habits lived a decade longer.
Peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ published the study on Wednesday, January 8.
The study was carried out on a sample of 38,000 men and 73,000 women aged 50 and compared the results to their counterparts who did not adhere to the five rules for a healthy lifestyle.
“We found that following a healthy lifestyle can substantially extend the years a person lives disease-free,” said senior author Dr. Frank Hu, who chairs the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“In particular, women who practiced all five habits gained over 10 years of disease-free life, and men who did so gained almost eight years,” Hu added.
Women generally have a longer life expectancy than men.
Maintaining a healthy diet does not only prevent a variety of diseases but it also increases the capacity to resist those diseases in case of sickness.
Cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are the three most common illnesses among aging populations.
Obesity is considered as a stimulating factor for 13 types of cancer, including breast cancer, cancer of the intestines, kidneys, liver, and esophageal cancer. To avoid cancer, the study coordinator advises reducing the consumption of processed meat, increasing fiber intake, and protecting the skin when exposed to the sun.
However, the healthy lifestyle recommendations do not always protect people from other factors affecting health and wellness. Genetics, environment, ethnic background, and age are all factors that can reduce lifespan.