Putting Data Behind Healthy Decisions
Authored by Ayesha Rajan, Research Analyst at Altheia Predictive Health
As we ring in 2021, we also ring in an abundance of New Year’s resolutions and the most common resolutions include health related goals such as improved eating habits and weight loss. In all of our articles that quantify diseases, we include tips for improved health. Many of them include eating a healthy, balanced diet and incorporating exercise in your lifestyle, as well as more specific tips. In today’s article, we will put some numbers behind some of these tips to encourage you to incorporate them into your New Year’s goals and to generally increase your knowledge and add perspective to these lifestyle choices.
Though exercise is a highly recommended part of a healthy lifestyle, “less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.” This is a statistic that is highly concerning because exercise is a known preventative method for diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and more. In fact, “a 2013 noted that higher levels of physical activity were associated with a 21 percent reduction in coronary heart disease events for men and a 29 percent reduction…in women.” On the other side of things, lack of physical activity is “estimated to be the primary cause of approximately 21-25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischaemic heart disease” globally. From this, we can see, through hard data, the importance of including physical activity in our lifestyles.
According to the CDC, only “12.2% of adults in the USA meet the daily fruit intake recommendations [and] less than 10% of US adults adopt and stick to the recommended vegetable guidelines.” These statistics are made believable when paired with the fact that “117 million adults suffer from one or more chronic diseases due to improper nutrition.” There is a definite connection between our nutritional decisions and the status of our health. However, a healthy diet can mean different things to different people so consider consulting your physician or a nutritionist to see how you can improve your health through your diet.
Clearly, there is hard data behind the reasoning and importance of including physical activity and a nutritious diet into your lifestyle. If you are just starting to make changes in your lifestyle, simple steps such as going for a 30 minute walk or incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet can be a great first step. If you are looking to improve your health and fitness, you can set goals for yourself such as incorporating a new type of workout into your routine or taking a look at and improving your macronutrient counts.