“Never assume,” wrote the late American journalist William Safire, “that the obvious is true.”
No doubt researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention applied this philosophy when the Atlanta-based federal agency released a report that found—brace yourself—people who adopted “healthy behaviors” were 63% less likely to die early.
Using data from the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study, researchers defined low-risk behaviors as never smoking, eating a healthy diet, moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption (not more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one drink a day for women). The study, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, said people who engaged in all four of those healthy behaviors were 66% less likely to die of cancer, 65% less likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, and 57% less likely to die early from other causes compared with people who did not engage in any of those healthy behaviors.
“If you want to lead a longer life and feel better, you should adopt healthy behaviors—not smoking, getting regular physical activity, eating healthy and avoiding excessive alcohol use,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC.
And, thanks to the CDC, there is research to prove it.