Everyone has heard the advice: Don’t smoke. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. Use alcohol in moderation.
Now researchers have created a method for estimating how many extra years of healthy living might be gained by following those admonitions.
Their analysis, in JAMA Internal Medicine, followed 116,043 people ages 40 to 75 over an average of 13 years, gathering data on those four healthy behaviors. They scored the participants from 0 to 2 for the degree of adherence to each.
For example, a body mass index below 25 gets 2 points, 25 to 30 1 point and over 30 a zero. In this way, each person got a total score from 0 to 8.