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Healthy habits 'deliver extra disease-free decade



Women can gain 10 and men seven years of life free of cancer, heart problems and type-2 diabetes from a healthy lifestyle, a study in the BMJ suggests.
They must exercise regularly, drink in moderation only, have a healthy weight and good diet and not smoke.
The US research is based on 111,000 people tracked for more than 20 years.
Lead author Dr Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, said the study had "a positive message for the public".
"They gain not just more years of life but good years through improved lifestyle choices."

What is a healthy lifestyle?

At the age of 50, study participants were asked if they met at least four of these five criteria:
  • never smoking
  • a healthy, balanced diet
  • 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity every day
  • a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9
  • no more alcohol than a small glass of wine a day for women and a pint of beer for men

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