According to a 2010 study, poor lifestyle choices, including a diet low in micronutrients and minerals, inactivity, smoking and excessive drinking, all add up to a massive increase in the likelihood of death. Study researchers found that risk of ‘all-cause mortality’ (dying from any cause) rose 85% for people with any one of these risky health behaviors; and went up a massive 3.5 times in those who engaged in all four harmful activities. In fact, the combination of all four behaviors prematurely aged a person 12 years, in terms of mortality risk!
These results are not surprising, since each factor has shown an independent effect on mortality in prior studies. However, this study shows the heavy price people pay when they engage in two or more of these poor lifestyle choices.
On the positive side, even modest positive adjustments to any of these lifestyle behaviors are likely to have a significant impact on health.
This study analyzed results from the prospective Health and Lifestyle Survey, in which 4,886 participants aged 18 or older were followed over an average of 20 years. Individuals were scored for unhealthy behaviors, including:
Eating less than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day
Getting less than two hours of leisure time physical activity per week
Drinking more than 14 eight-gram units of alcohol per week for women or 21 units for men
Men were seen to be more likely than women to meet each of these unfavorable criteria. The effect on all-cause mortality was weakest for a nutrition-poor diet. Physical inactivity, current smoking, and high alcohol intake scored the highest. Cardiovascular deaths were higher with all four unhealthy behaviors, but significantly associated only with lack of exercise. Cancer deaths were significantly associated with both current smoking and inactivity. The greater the number of unhealthy behaviors, higher the overall death risk as well as specifically from cardiovascular, cancer and other causes of death.
Of these four unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, a nutrition-poor diet is perhaps the most common. A diet of overly refined, processed, overcooked foods and not enough fruits and veggies can deplete your body of the micronutrients and minerals it needs to function optimally, making you more susceptible to infections, premature aging and chronic diseases.
Fortunately, one simple solution is to include a high quality multivitamin supplement every day. Many unique formulas are now available that include natural probiotics and enzymes to help with digestion and overall metabolism; energy boosting ingredients; antioxidants to help fight off harmful free radicals; phytonutrients to balance pH and combat acid overload; immunity boosters to help your body fight off disease; and multiple anti-aging constituents to help you look and feel young again.
So why not include a daily multivitamin supplement in your routine, and take a positive step towards a healthy lifestyle?