No shortcut to a longer life

No shortcut to a longer life

Let’s begin with a box of chocolates because, quite frankly, that’s a better place to start than with a box of broccoli. We don’t even whisper this in respectable company: Sometimes we’ll indulge our inner glutton and devour all those treats in a sitting.

OK, sure, not all of us. But the naughty ones know who they are.

No need to be wracked by shame. A visit to the gym can remedy the impact on our health, right? So, we sweat and pump iron and work out like a maniac to remedy the harm done.

Who says you can’t eat junk food and be healthy, too?

Let’s introduce you to the researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia. Their study found no evidence that ample exercise will compensate for a poor diet over the course of a lifetime. Death by cancer and heart disease and other conditions will still be higher than for folks who exercise and maintain a good diet, too.

They culled data from the UK Biobank project that included information on the lifestyle and medical records of hundreds of thousands of British adults. Participants’ health was tracked for years. And given the large number of people involved, the study’s results are especially powerful.

The investigation found that people who ate well and exercised regularly enjoyed a 17% lower mortality rate than those who followed a poor diet and were sedentary. But in crunching the data, researchers saw no clues that one could compensate for the other. Indeed, scientists say a healthy diet won’t make up for a lack of physical activity either.

The report demonstrates that healthy food and ample exercise work best in tandem. Our bodies can’t be cheated.

There’s simply no outrunning a box of chocolates.

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