A Healthy Resolution

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Tackling the ‘Old Habits Die Hard Myth’



People who make a healthy New Year’s resolution may find they actually get two for the price of one, according to new reports published.  Conversely, people who persist in unhealthy habits may find themselves doing more damage to their health than they bargained for.

The reports, carried out by social research experts at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) for the Department of Health, exposed health trends and habits across the country.  Six data collections were analysed and they show that when people made healthier decisions in one area, they made other positive changes too. 

For example, the reports found that, non-smokers were less likely to eat visible fat on food than smokers were and people who quit smoking ate more fruit and veg.

Conversely, the reports showed that bad habits could occur together.  For example, people who regularly ate fried food were more likely to add additional salt to their food; and people who drink above the recommended levels eat less fruit and veg.

The reports highlight how important it is we all eat well, drink within the recommended levels and quit smoking.  If people eat, too much they are more likely to become overweight and too much saturated fat can lead to heart disease.  More than one in four cancers are attributed to smoking and if people are regularly drinking more than the recommended alcohol limits, they increase their risk of developing serious diseases, such as cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.

So give yourself the best start to the year and better health for life with a healthy New Year resolution.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally C Davies said, “The New Year is a great time to renew efforts and give up unhealthy habits, such as smoking, and take up healthier ones, such as regular physical activity, improving our diet and drinking less.

“This NatCen research shows that if you make one healthy resolution this New Year you might get double the benefits as you are more likely to make other positive healthier changes too.  So, start thinking about other areas where you can improve your health and set yourself up for a healthier life, for 2015.”

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