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Unhealthy habits 'reduce lifespan'

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Britons could be reducing their lives by as much as 20 years through leading unhealthy lifestyles, a survey of almost 5,000 people has revealed.

According to Bupa, which conducted the research, women in their 50s tend to be more inactive and overweight than other age groups, while men in their 50s and 60s are less active and more overweight than other men.

Subsequently, the average Briton is cutting 12 years off their lifespan due to unhealthy habits such as over-eating, under-exercising, excessive alcohol intake and smoking. It is though that more that than one in eight people could be cutting their life short by up to 20 years or more.

However, Bupa health experts believe that a 25-year-old woman, for example, who drinks 20 units of alcohol a week could add up to three years to her life by drinking six fewer units a week - the equivalent of cutting out about three glasses of wine.

Bupa medical director of health and wellbeing Annabel Bentley said: “We all know that bad habits such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol damage our health but these findings show the real impact of our habits and the number of years we’re knocking off our lives unnecessarily.

“But it’s never too late to make a change for the better. Whether you’re in your 20s or in your 70s, you could add years to your life by making lifestyle changes.”

The research was not immediately available online.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Isn't this what the government really want, reducing lifespan, that is? It's a balance between the cost of caring for people with long term conditions or whether can they be knocked off sooner. Or, maybe the contribution of 3 years taxes is more beneficial to the economy that the cost of caring for these people.

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