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HealthExtra: 4 healthy habits = 14 more years

Changing just four behaviors may increase your lifespan by nearly a decade and a half, say Cambridge University researchers. In questionnaires completed by more than 20,000 healthy men and women ages 45-79, one point each was awarded for not smoking, eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, being physically active (inactivity was defined as having a sedentary job and not participating in any regular exercise) and consuming only moderate amounts of alcohol. After taking age, gender, social class and body mass index into account, investigators found that, over 11 years, study participants who’d scored zero were four times more likely to die than participants with a score of four. In addition, those scoring zero had the same risk of dying as participants 14 years older but with a score of four.