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C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.

The majority of Americans die prematurely. Indeed, considering our inherent genetic potential, death before 80 is premature, with the “average” American dying at age 78. IF Americans had the 4 essential health habits, death would come somewhere between 80 and 120, with “average” being 100. That is how long our telomeres are inherently programmed to last. I have commented frequently that only 3% of Americans have the essential health habits:
BMI 18 to 24
No Smoking
Eating a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and
veggies daily
Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week

The April 26, 2010 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine stated that people who smoke, drink excessively, rarely exercise and skimp on fruits and veggies die prematurely. In fact, those with these misbehaviors are THREE times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease or cancer; FOUR times more likely to die of other causes; and die an average of 12 years earlier than those with better habits!

These unhealthy habits are significant components of the Death Wish! Expressed or not, the choice of ignoring common sense healh habits seems compatible with Freud’s concept that most people have a death wish and my surveys which conclude that only 20% of people are reasonably happy! You cannot afford the luxury of ignoring health!! Death may not be so bad but most of the time unhealth–sickly disease–leads to at least a decade of suffering before death. Why is it that a huge majority of people fail to accept the simplicity of essential healthy habits?? Suffering should be optional. Premature death should also be optional and mostly avoidable!.


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