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In Diet and Weight, Food and Health on August 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm
attributable causes of early death on doctorfoodtruth

What to blame early death on

I re-tweeted an interesting post on death  yesterday from my new friend over at Health Habits, Doug Robb.  Doug is a huge (check out his picture!) health and fitness buff and personal trainer from Toronto who posts interesting and provocative pieces regularly.

This post is about a 2009 Harvard study of the top U.S. causes of preventable death.  The researchers came up with a list of 12 that account for early deaths of various types, even being so kind as to describe the kind of death I could expect if I picked a particular bad habit.

The details are interesting (if you’re a medical nerd like me) or revolting (if you’re anyone else) but all come down to what one of my professors told me at the beginning of medical school: Most of the health trouble people have is caused by their choices.

Smoking, poor food choices, and being a couch potato adds up to cause most of these early deaths.  In my experience, most of the illness and feeling bad people suffer also comes from these choices.

The good news?  As I like to tell my patients, it’s never too late to change.  Our bodies can heal amazingly well.  Years of body abuse and bad choices can be turned around and health can be improved.  All it takes is a decision to change.  All you need is dissatisfaction with how things are and the desire for better health.

Then little choices for health can start to add up: putting down the cigarettes, pushing away from the table, walking around the block.  With a little effort and determination weight can come off, medications can get stopped, and health problems like diabetes and high cholesterol can go away.

Don’t wait for this list to be your epitaph — Change Your Habits, Change Your Life!

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