Is our lifestyle killing us?

A recent article talking about preventable lifestyle caused deaths in the Sunday Times caught my attention. It is probably not a new message that our lifestyle choices have a massive impact upon our health.  But it would seem that these poor choices kill tens of thousands of Australians each year and costs our health system billions of dollars.  Coming off the back of this we know that one in every six deaths is preventable.  A new YouGov survey on health and happiness found that many Australians admit that laziness is the reason they don’t exercise or buy healthy food. This is quite concerning as exercise and healthy food choices are what makes the one on six deaths preventable.

The Cancer Council says that physical inactivity is responsible for 14% of bowel cancers and 11% of post menopausal breast cancers.  It is also estimated that 7000 cancers and over 2000 preventable deaths can be attributed to not eating enough fruit and vegetables.  Overall, over 16000 cancer deaths and 13000 heart disease deaths are attributed to poor lifestyle.  In amongst this is an often-missed point, that excess alcohol consumption has the same cancer risk associated to it as smoking, and we all know how bad smoking is for us.

So, there is probably nothing new in this.  But the numbers are quite compelling.  Obesity and many chronic diseases in our society continue to rise.  The irony is, at no time in history have we had more knowledge about preventing and treating these conditions.

Of course, knowledge by itself can be quite useless unless we act upon it.  And, in this case, the actions are quite simple.  If you want to live a longer, healthier life you will give yourself a better chance by doing the following:

  • Eat less sugar, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Don’t smoke
  • Get some exercise

Again, nothing really new, nothing too secret and nothing too complicated about this.  Yet over and over again the research proves this is right but our society gets it increasingly wrong.  Makes you question whether we really are the smartest animal in the kingdom.

Is our lifestyle killing us?