Unhealthy Habits: Reasons Why Canadians Have a Shortened Life Span

Canadians are dying every single day and not because of road or air carnages but simple health reasons and laziness. And the worst part is that the life expectancy is also reduced by small bad habits like smoking and drinking.

Unhealthy habits such as smoking, poor diet, unhealthy alcohol consumption as well as physical inactivity are reported to be the reason most Canadians are dying young. The study led by Ottawa scientist says that half the deaths in Canada have been due to these bad habits.

“Unhealthy behaviours place a major burden on Canadian life expectancies,” said Dr. Doug Manuel, Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital and Professor at the University of Ottawa. “This study identified which behaviors pose the biggest threat.”

The research which measures the health burden of unhealthy behaviors found that 26 percent of all deaths in Canada between 2009 and 2010 were attributed to smoking alone, while 24 percent were attributed to physical inactivity, 12 percent was attributed to poor diet and 0.4 percent was attributed to unhealthy alcohol consumption.

The research also found that Canadians who did not smoke and ate healthy foods as well as exercised and drank less alcohol had life expectancies that were 17.9 years greater than those with unhealthy behaviors. It also showed that most people had combined risk factors.

“Understanding the impact of unhealthy habits helps public officials plan better,” Dr. Doug Manuel stated. He and his team have so far come up with an algorithm to analyze data from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. The algorithm allows for a more precise way to measure the impact of health problems on life expectancy.

“In an era of big data, we should be moving beyond the old methods that have remained largely unchanged for the past 60 years. The calculator, which can be found at projectbiglife.ca, provides a whole new level of motivation. ”