Want to be healthier and live longer? More medical research suggests how to achieve your goal. It found healthful behaviors including moderate drinking good for health. And also for living longer. That’s up to seven years of longer life.
The Three Behaviors
The three behaviors for good health and longer life are simple.
- Maintain a reasonable weight.
- Don’t smoke tobacco.
- Drink beer, wine or spirits (liquor) in moderation.
The Study: Drinking Good for Health
Researchers used data from the Health and Retirement Study. This is a long-term survey of the health habits of Americans age 50 and older.
The researchers studied 14,804 people. They had been interviewed every other year for 24 years. Researchers then categorized them based on three lifestyle behaviors. Those were weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption. They then calculated the estimated life expectancies of each group.
For instance, the first category was of those who were not obese, who never smoked, and who drank in moderation. The second was of obese smokers who either drank heavily or rarely/never drank.
The study showed more. Those in the first group could expect to spend their extra years of life in good health. They had the longest delay of disability. Men tended to have their first disability at a mean age of 72.1. That’s about five years later than the whole US population. Among women the first disability occurred at about age 75.2. That’s about eight years later than in the whole population.
Public Health Policy Implications
The researchers call for major policy changes to promote more healthful habits. One said that “by investing in prevention and by individuals making better choices in their health behaviors, we can gain a tremendous amount in overall life expectancy. And also healthy life expectancy.”
He noted that they and other researchers have found an important fact. “[I]ndividuals who drink moderately tend to have better outcomes compared to those who completely abstain from alcohol and to those who drink very heavily.”
You might be interesting in these.
Resources: Alcohol Good for Health
- Mehta, N. and Myrskylä, M. The Population Health Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle: Life Expectancy Increased And Onset Of Disability Delayed. Health Aff, 36(8), 1495-1502.
- This site gives no advice. Please see your doctor for answers.