Q1. Can obesity shorten your life expectancy by 6 – 7 years?

A: If you’re over 40, yes. And if you’re under 40 and obese, unless you do something about it, you’re likely to reach 40 and still be obese, so this will apply to you too.

Q2. What is likely to help you live longer?

A: Each of the points listed (a positive, optimistic approach; 5 a day; regular exercise; enough sleep; and flu vaccinations) is likely to help you live longer, in different ways. For example our body’s immune system seems to work less effectively when we get old, making us more susceptible to illness. However most of the factors above can help maintain our immune system. 

Q3. After an initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, normal life expectancy is another 5 – 7 years?

A: Sadly true. However, doctors believe that up to 50% of Alzheimer’s cases are avoidable, for instance by pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Q4. Likely to shorten your life?

A: As you probably already knew, all of the behaviours listed are likely to shorten your life ie smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, long periods unprotected in the sun, eating a lot of fried, fatty and salty or processed food, and being overweight. 

Q5. Snorers at higher risk of heart attack and stroke? 

A: Unfortunately true, so it may be worth getting medical advice if you’re a heavy snorer. It will probably help your partner sleep better too. 

Published 10/06/2012, Review date May 2014