In our teens and 20s, a good number of us are tossing caution to the wind and yelling "YOLO," or “You only live once,” which depicts the idea of living for the moment. Most people don’t really get the wake-up call about health until well into their 30s, according to a new study out of Spire Bristol Hospital.
According to the study, age 36 appeared to be the average age that many people started to accept their mortality and start living healthier. Several “wake up calls” were prominent in making people more aware: death in the family, doctor warnings, and unflattering pictures all spurred people to start making healthier choices. Usually these moments were somewhat of a shock, the study of 2,000 people found. Fifty-six percent of the survey participants said that before age 36, they often took a “living in the moment” approach and disregarded long-term consequences to health. Only four in 10 of the study participants said that long-term health was more important than living in the moment and partaking in binge-drinking and heavy eating.
“These findings show that by our mid-30s, health and well-being become a much bigger priority,” Rob Anderson, director at Spire Bristol, said. “Doing something about it can be daunting prospect, but there’s lots of support designed to help people lead healthier lives. Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference and reassessing how we live our lives, and the value we place on healthcare, can mean huge long-term benefits.”
The study found that these 10 “shocking” moments helped spur people to begin changing their poor lifestyles:
1) Getting older
2) I had a health scare
3) A close relative died
4) A warning from my doctor
5) Seeing a shocking photo of myself
6) A close relative fell ill
7) A TV program about bad eating habits
8) Negative comments about my health that hit a nerve
9) I had a serious accident
10) A public health message
The number of people in the U.S. who have diabetes has grown over the past decade. In 2010, about 25.8 million Americans (8.3 percent of the population) were diabetics; in 2012, that number had grown to 29.1 million or 9.3 percent. Obesity is one of the leading causes of diabetes and associated health risk, affected one-third of the American population and causing serious health issues like heart disease. It’s in your 30s that your body begins to undergo changes, and when it becomes crucial to adjust your diet to avoid bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight gain, and risks for chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, or heart disease.