The results of a long-term study carried out in the Netherlands and published in the respected American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that if we control 4 specific factors we can live 8.5 years for men and a whopping 15 years for women longer than people who don’t control these factors.
The 4 factors are:
- · Not Smoking
- · Nutritional Pattern: Eating Mediterranean Diet Type Foods
- · Physical Activity for at least 30 minutes a day
- · Body Weight- keeping Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 to 25.
The study started in 1986 and included over 120,000 men and women from ages 55-69. It studied the risk of premature death in people who both controlled these 4 factors and those who didn’t.
Women who controlled these factors had the same risk of premature death as women who were 15 years younger but didn’t. To put it another way, a 55 year old women who controlled these 4 factors had the same risk of premature death as a 40 year old woman, who didn’t.
A 65 year old man who controlled them had the same risk of premature death as a 56.5 year old man who didn’t.
The exciting implication of this research is that for those of you who really want to lose weight and want to do it properly, 3 of the 4 life extending factors will automatically be incorporated into your weight loss regimen: Exercise, nutritional pattern and reduction of BMI. (The 4th factor, smoking, though obviously recommended, is a separate personal decision).
To calculate your BMI divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches times itself and multiply that amount by 703.
For example, a woman who weighs 140 lbs and is 5’4” (64 inches) the calculation would be:
140 divided by 4096 (which is 64X64) = .03418 X 703 = 24 which is the BMI and in the acceptable range.
Just because the BMI is in the “healthy, acceptable” range, this doesn’t mean that a lower BMI wouldn’t be aesthetically more pleasing to some women.
If the woman in the above example experienced healthy weight loss and dropped to 120 lbs her BMI would be:
120 divided by 4096= .0293 X 703 = 20.6 the new BMI.
For those of you who don’t like doing math, the link below will automatically calculate your BMI for you.
In a subsequent article, that will be released within the next few days, some eating and exercise hints that make losing weight simpler and less of a challenge, will be discussed.
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.