It saddened me to read the headline, “Few Adults Follow Healthy Habits,” leaving the health risks, associated with their lifestyle choices, to luck. Prevention of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, as a deliberate choice, with the goal of a better quality of life, and increased longevity, is possible. Populations living in the Blue Zones [5 areas of the world where people live, without many of our lifestyle-caused illnesses, into their 100’s] prove that prevention works as a goal to a good, long life, with a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even dementia.
An article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported that less than 7% of adults in the US practice the five healthy behaviors recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The American Cancer Society: exercising several times a week, eating a plant-based diet, maintaining weight in a safe range, eliminating smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.
Researchers collected the data for this study using a national survey of more than 26,000 adults aged 20-79. Their results revealed only one in five responders engages in four or more healthy habits, and nearly half practice fewer than three.
By learning from our human cousins living in the Blue Zones: Okinawa, Costa Rica, Ikaria, Sardinia, and Loma Linda, California, we can empower ourselves to eat deliciously, and move more, with the goal of preventing conditions that rob us of quality of life, and length of life. Here’s to our health!
Dateline: Town of Colonie, Albany County, New York’s Capital Region