Bad habits can age you by 12 years

Man asleep holding a remote control

They can kill you too. As if we didn't already know. But here come a study concluding that when you combine four bad habits--smoking, drinking too much, inactivity and poor diet -- they can age you by 12
years. Reported the Associated Press in a dispatch from Chicago:

The risky behaviors were: smoking tobacco; downing more than three alcoholic drinks per day
for men and more than two daily for women; getting less than two hours
of physical activity per week; and eating fruits and vegetables fewer than
three times daily.

These habits combined substantially increased the risk of death and
made people who engaged in them seem 12 years older than people in the
healthiest group, said lead researcher Elisabeth Kvaavik of the University of Oslo.

The study, in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, modifies the maxim that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Instead, it says, one carrot, one apple and a glass of orange juice should just about do it.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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