Buy One good habit and Get another One Free this New Year
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 today. 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; and
- people who quit smoking ate more fruit and veg.
Conversely, the reports showed that bad habits can 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 2012.”
Notes to editors
1. For more information please call the Department of Health Newsdesk on 020 7210 5221.
2. For more information about how to quit smoking visit the Smokefree website or speak to your GP.
3. For healthy eating tips and information visit the Change4Life website.
4. The six data collections that were analysed were:
- Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
- British Household Panel Survey (Youth Cohort)
- English Longitudinal Study of Ageing
- Family and Children’s Survey
- National Health and Development Survey
- Whitehall II
5. The report can be found on the NatCen website.