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Healthy LifeHealth professionals, policy makers and individuals can potentially improve the chances of having a healthier life by addressing the complex interactions between genetics, development, and life events and lifestyles. Shaped like a pear? Fat around the hips, butt, and thighs is usually estrogen dependent, meaning that it doesn’t go away through exercise and healthy nutrition. Torso fat, on the other hand, is associated with poor health. Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.

The European Health and Life Expectancy Information Systems (EHLEIS) project continued the work of the European Health Monitoring Expectancy Unit (EHEMU), a collaboration between the Universities of Montpellier, Leicester and the Belgian Institute of Public Health, on determining whether the EU population is living longer and healthier lives.

So, what do we need to do to enhance the length and quality of our lives even more? Researchers worldwide are pursuing various ideas , but for Mattison and colleagues, the answer is a simple change in diet. They believe that the key to a better old age may be to reduce the amount of food on our plates, via an approach called calorie restriction”. This diet goes further than cutting back on fatty foods from time-to-time; it’s about making gradual and careful reductions in portion size permanently. Since the early 1930s, a 30% reduction in the amount of food consumed per day has been linked to longer, more active lives in worms, flies, rats, mice, and monkeys. Across the animal kingdom, in other words, calorie restriction has proven the best remedy for the ravages of life. And it’s possible that humans have just as much to gain.

Figure 2 shows that male life expectancy increased by 3.5 years between 2000 to 2002 and 2012 to 2014, and healthy life expectancy increased by 2.8 years. Although both of these measures have shown an increase, life expectancy has increased by more years than healthy life expectancy and therefore males had an increase in the number of years spent in poor health as well as good health. The same was also true for females (figure 3), however, the proportion of life spent in poor health remained at 20% for males and 23% for females.

See how you measure up. Try out at home the psychological and aptitude tests, the instant weight calculators and lots more. Find out how healthy you really are with just a click of the mouse. Teenagers should get between eight and ten hours of sleep each night to be healthy. Quitting smoking is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your health—and your life span. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that women who quit smoking by age 35 add roughly six to eight years to their lives.