Longevity is determined by a hundred or so risk factors we all have, perhaps too many to truly understand and manage. Someday history will judge today’s understanding of health risk factors as poor, at best, dangerous at worst.
Wellness fans would have us believe that if we follow certain diet, exercise, bio-measurement, and primary care protocols, we will optimize our health. Alas, there are deep problems with that notion. Those protocols aren’t working well. It’s extremely difficult to eke out ROIs following the majority of wellness vendor programs.
Most importantly, we have only a crude understanding today of what our health risks really are. As I’ve written here often, factors such as boredom, loneliness, job satisfaction, etc, are huge risk factors, as are family relationships, genetics, anger, worry, resilience, finances, stress, aspirations, spirituality, community, contentment, and many more.
You can drink three Dr. Peppers a day and live to be a hundred. Egad! (BTW: scientists themselves do not agree whether sugar-free sodas are better then sugary ones.)
Some people smoke all their adult lives and live to be a hundred. Yikes! (My own Grandfather is a good example.)
Some people eat bacon nearly every day of their lives and make it to a hundred. Impossible, say wellness true believers!
Some obese people live to be a hundred too. How can that be?
Well, the plain truth is our health and longevity is determined by hundreds of risk factors. (The combinations and permutations of those risk factors is mind boggling.) That applies to all of us, every single one. Simply put, if you do some wicked behaviors like drinking sugary sodas every day, but your other 100 or so risk factors are in sync, you’ll probably be just fine.
__________________________________________________________________________ Tom Emerick is a consultant and co-author of the book Cracking Health Costs, an Amazon trade best seller. Tom is the President of Emerick Consulting and co-founder of EdisonHealth.