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Healthy Lifestyle Research 2008

Our featured research news in 2008 looked at new treatment approaches, prevention strategies, drug research, and changes in medical care. The studies also reflected the changes in medical industry to decrease unnecessary costs without cutting care. Here is a quick recap on research about living well featured from 2008.

Healthy Lifestyle News

There are more research points to the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity.
  • A review of some of the top diets, such as low-fat, low-carbohydrate, and Mediterranean diets, found that they were fairly similar in achieving results . The benefits may lie with allowing individuals to have options.
  • Researchers also found that people that had a typical Western diet, heavy in red meat, starches, and sweets, were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome . This includes higher risks of diabetes and heart disease.
Exercise played its role as well.
  • Two separate studies found that regular aerobic activity and higher levels of fitness were linked to decrease in loss of cognition and slower development of dementia .
  • In a review of several past studies, researchers found that therapeutic exercises appeared to decrease pain and improve function in knees affected by osteoarthritis .
  • Physical activity is known to help in weight loss. A study published last year found that moderate exercise can produce adequate results when compared to intense exercise. The best weight-loss results were achieved by women averaging about 275 minutes per week.
  • Strength appeared to have protective affects for men of all ages in a study published last year. Men with higher levels of strength had lower rates of death from all causes. These benefits were evident even in obese or overweight participants.

How Does This Affect You?

Lifestyle choices can make a significant impact on your health and well-being. Unfortunately changing lifelong habits can be difficult. Make small gradual changes, large drastic changes are far less likely to be maintained. Find a partner to work with in these changes and keep a record of your changes. Long-term goals are good for guidance, but set a series of short-term goals to keep you motivated. Talk to a fitness professional and/or a registered dietitian to help you make an achievable and effective plan.



Last reviewed January 2008 by Larissa J. Lucas, MD

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