That said, I didn't realize "going outside with short hair and no hat" was a bad lifestyle choice until it was too late, so I'm posting here:
Hey fair skinned folks! Just wearing sunscreen IS NOT ENOUGH. Wear a hat if you're going to spend more than a short time outside! If you have a family history of skin cancer, ask your barber to keep an eye out for moles when you're getting your hair cut.
Sunscreens often contain carcinogens:
Consequently staying indoors and using sunscreen may _increase_ your likelihood of developing cancer.
Children who avoid sunshine will get rickets, a disease that was once almost absent from the US population:
Nonetheless, the fair-skinned must balance their exposure carefully. Good news is that their skin produces vitamin D more efficiently than darker skin, so the fair-skinned can obtain vitamin D in a shorter exposure period (minutes a day):
That said, if you are going to spend time outside, the benefits of wearing sunscreen and a hat undoubtedly outweigh whatever risk they may induce.
"Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said leading a healthy lifestyle did not guarantee a person would not get cancer but the study showed 'we can significantly stack the odds in our favour.'"
Many of these lines of evidence where developed originally by looking at environmental differences among different countries, as well as time series in cancer rates as lifestyles changed in countries over time, and comparisons of immigrants of varying ages of arrival (who adopt the lifestyles of new countries either as children or as adults) with relatives who stay in the old country. Then the best-understood models of cancer risk factors are further investigated through controlled experimentation on laboratory animals or on cell lines in vitro. Today it's plain enough that avoiding smoking, eating a varied, balanced diet, and maintaining normal weight through a combination of exercise and moderate eating offers substantial reduction of risk in all-cause mortality, including but not limited to death from cancer.
After edit: the second reply here asked how a diet higher rather than lower in fruits and vegetables can protect from cancers other than colon cancer. According to what I've read about the research, it's thought that some tendencies of healthy body cells to go into uncontrolled growth (cancer) are made worse by lack of micronutrients, which may be lacking in the diets of people who don't eat varied diets. It's also thought that the evolutionary arms race between plants (which tend to evolve tough husks but also phytotoxins as protections against being eaten) and animals (which have to eat some food source ultimately derived from autotrophic organisms, that is mostly plants) results in complex animals being selected for incidental adaptation of phytotoxins to kill off errant cell lines. What's poison in a large does can sometimes be medicine in the therapeutic dose and in the right time and place. All human beings eventually die of something, but the epidemiological evidence (and some laboratory evidence) shows that plant intake reduces chances of dying young of cancer, and these mechanisms are some of those suggested as reasons for that observation.
antioxidant is keyword here:
The problem is not everyone has this gene variant, and you probably don't want to be playing Russian Roullette with your health.
According to that article, the SNPs in question are rs1051730 and rs8034191. 23andme tests for both.
(My results indicate that I'm at lower risk, but I'm still not going to pick up a pack of cigarettes anytime soon :)
"Here bob, you can smoke these (a, b, c) but you can't smoke these (d,e,f). Also you can drink everything, except these (1,2,3). Now go have fun"
Yes, even for people who it will kill. (In fact, that's probably one of the benefits for some.)
Some people claim nicotine is a relaxant in the correct dose. I have not personally experienced this, the same may not be true of the pure nicotine found in my delivery method of choice.
I won't say it's without risk. Even with e-cigs, there's not enough data to show any long term harm that they may have (although the ingredients separately and with a different vaporization method have been medically approved and are commonly found in asthma inhalers, minus the nicotine). Any stimulant use/abuse carries risks. You have to take that into account before deciding to use one, and limit yourself to using it only when you need the benefits.
Here's the Wikipedia article that explains with some sources how nicotine affects the body.
Also, it was a nice way to take a break think over what I was working on. It would also help me concentrate afterwards.
That said, now that I've quit I'll never start again...
Also, she's never really been very addicted - she only smokes off and on.
I bet this has been done before.
edit: I'm not suggesting people should start smoking.
I don't actually care about what the benefits are. Instead, I think that it's important to acknowledge that they do exist.
And yes, benefits clearly do exist for some people. That's why they smoke.
But sure, informed consent is a good thing.
I got a nan, 96, walks to town 3 times a week, still rides her bike, been smoking 60 a day for 40 years, and recently cut back to 40. If i compare her to my other nan 86 frail and pretty much falling apart, now guess which one has had the better lifestyle? the second, very well off always comfortable.
At 96 i think she gets up to keep smoking, and if that keeps her alive then keep doing it.
The centenarian smoker likely was never susceptible to smoking-induced lung cancer in the first place.
male smokers: 17%
female smokers: 12%
If those numbers are accurate, and entirely due to the effects of smoking (not just other lifestyle behaviors more common with smokers, like drinking) that's easily reason enough to quit. But even in the worst case, the fact remains, most smokers will not get cancer.
You can compute the lifetime risk if you have a prior for the lifetime risk of lung cancer (1% in above example), just by multiplying.
Regardless, smoking increases your overall risk pressure along with all of the other risky choices you can make. It's cumulative with the rest of life's choices.
Apparently eating well, drinking in moderation, not smoking and regular exercise reduce the risk of cancer.
When interviewed, man hiding under rock expressed surprise and gratitude for the update.
I'm not sure "eating well" has the same meaning for everybody. :) Perhaps we should say "eating safely" or something.
Which is why so few people do it.
I know this immediately turns on your B.S. sensors, but she changed her lifestyle after spending hours on Pubmed doing research on nutrition's impact on the brain and specifically the mitochondria. I highly recommend the talk, it is both very informative and very moving. And there are some saddening statistics about the lack of vitamins and minerals in the American population.
(also replying as a form of bookmark)
You have to die of something. What's important is years of high-quality life, rather than merely avoiding death from any specific ailment. And of course, quality is ultimately a subjective measure. All the behaviours that you must conform to, to avoid these specific deaths, may themselves detract from your quality of life.
I could just as easily assert the opposite: eating fewer steaks and drinking less reduces your quality of life, right now.*
* But may increase it in the future, depending on various factors.
Similarly, I've never enjoyed exercise. I used to cycle to and from school every day, about 6 miles, fairly high intensity (due to my laziness, I'd start late). My aerobic capacity was certainly higher then; I could run for perhaps 30 minutes, where I'd hazard a guess that I'd be out of breath after 10 minutes now. I'm not overweight, have no difficulty walking, jumping, running, climbing hills etc. when I get the occasion to on vacation and such. But the thought of actively exercising fills me with weariness. Not enjoyable.
What I'm getting at is that I have a lifestyle that I massively enjoy, and it took a lot of experimentation and experience to discover the things I like best. Whether it is specifically healthy or not is secondary, by a long way, to how enjoyable it is.
My list of unhealthy foods is largely: processed/highly processed foods, industrially raised meats/eggs/dairy, processed carbs, sugar, HFCS, soda, flour, baked goods (sorry), trans-fats, white rice/potatoes. Few vegetable fats (corn, canola, soybean, etc. oils). Allowable in very small quantities, but frankly few of these appeal to me at all after a few years of eating clean.
And the quality-of-life benefits are huge.
The other underappreciated element to fitness is strength training. One article that's been featured at HN before that's particularly good at highlighting what's wrong with conventional wisdom on fitness is "Everything You Know About Fitness is a Lie": http://www.mensjournal.com/everything-you-know-about-fitness...
Obviously the what is also going to have impact, but it is easy to observe that the great majority of people are not walking around with severe nutritional deficiencies.
So among the group of people that are not basically falling apart from a nutrient deficit, the ones that eat about the right amount of calories tend to be (quite a lot!) healthier than the ones that eat far more or far less calories.
Nearly half of low intelligence diagnosed in the UK each year - over 130,000 in total - are caused by avoidable life choices including not reading, debating, or thinking about interesting problems.
Yet no one seems to even be conscious of the wrongness of this.
I can understand it leading to colon cancer, but does it also lead to other kinds of cancer?
AFAIK even if you never eat fruits/vegetables you aren't lacking any micronutrients?
I supposed you could argue for multivitamins. My approach is to not bet against 6000+ years of human biochemistry.
As a real world example; Polish women have the lowest incidence of breast cancer and the highest consumption of cabbage.
Steve was lots of things, but I think few would say he was an expert in medicine. For another data point with more or less the same weight: If I had to guess, I would blame his stay in India, in particular the hepatitis he reportedly got there. I know that is an unverifiable statement, and am willing to change position once a fact presents itself, though.
"there seems to be a higher ratio of cancer sufferers in high pressured environments like financial trading"
Believes aren' worth anything here. Show me the numbers. For what it is worth (zero), I would guess on lower incidence, due to higher risks of heart attacks and of accidents with fast cars, all others being equal.
Summary: nothing to worry about, there, except for your own worries.
I've found that relying on tea through the course of the day (after a morning mug of espresso) keeps my energy levels more even. Dittos knocking off the carbs -- much more even energy levels, and no post-lunch slump.
My understanding is that in women, a lack of reproduction causes cancer. Basically, each period you have adds to your risk of breast cancer. Did the BBC just get it wrong or is there something I'm missing?
Since going vegan, that's been my nightly ritual: throw frozen fruit, bananas (one large or two small), juice, and vanilla soy milk in the blender carafe and put it in the refrigerator. I like to add ground flaxseed for the ALA as well.
Also focus on getting enough fiber. Auto-magically this will ensure you get a lot of veggies, minerals, vitamins, and so on - as long as you don't rely on artificial means such as fiber supplements. Lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, stuff like that - all those are good.
I do eat meat, eggs, dairy and so on, I'm not a vegetarian by any means. I just try to avoid eating too much red meat, or stuff heavy on cholesterol and saturated fat. I emphasize fish, turkey, chicken, lean meat, etc. Once in a while I will enjoy a good steak - it's not like you'll drop dead from eating it, and cholesterol is actually used by your body to make hormones and so on.
As a remnant from my weight lifting days, I try to eat some protein with every meal, and I try to avoid carbs-only meals. I think the low fat diets are ridiculous; controlling the calories overall, and the carbs in particular, and exercising, are far more important.
I reduced very drastically starchy foods. Bread, rice, potatoes - gone or greatly diminished. Eat a salad instead (for dressing, use oil and vinegar, not the sugary junk that most people use). Popcorn and potato chips are blacklisted in my household. Ice cream - I'll eat some once in a while when the kids are craving it. No candy. No soda.
I do eat a small amount of chocolate, Nutella, or drink some hot chocolate, almost every day in fact, in the evening; cocoa has antioxidants too, and the sweet taste gives you a serotonin boost when you're tired. This is the "vice" that I indulge in. :)
My preferred drink is green tea. Black is fine too. I drink lots.
I take one fish oil capsule in the evening, unless I had fish for lunch or dinner, in which case I skip it. I take one resveratrol capsule in the morning, one in the evening; there is some controversy re: this substance, but overall it still looks good; if the science changes, I'll change my habits accordingly.
I don't always drink alcohol, but when I do (sorry for the rage comics pun) I drink red wine. Mostly on social occasions.
I do strength exercises ("weight lifting") twice a week, maybe half an hour; often this is just going out to a park and doing pull-ups on a tree branch or something, then a few sets of clapping push-ups on soft ground, then one-leg squats holding on to a tree, stuff like that; the gym is nice, but it's optional. I ride the bicycle a few hours every week-end; I've a nice road bike that takes me far over the hills, towards the ocean, or wherever I wanna go. I walk every day about an hour - often I'll eat my lunch walking instead of sitting in a restaurant. When I take a break from work, I go out and walk; it's very relaxing and mind-expanding; a lot of innovative, out of the box ideas come to you when you're outdoors daydreaming.
At 182cm (6') tall, I weighed 61kg (135lb) a decade ago and I was a couch potato geek with awful eating habits. Then I started working out, changed lots of things. After a while I weighed 85kg (187lb), no fat, and I was bench pressing 100kg (220lb). Nowadays I scaled back lifting a lot, I eat less calories, I weigh somewhat less, maybe 78kg (172lb) - I don't know for sure and I don't care. The bathroom scale is full of bullsXXt, the mirror will tell you the truth. I feel I'm in great shape, and I was told I do look very much "in shape".
Sounds like a lot, but all this stuff was just a gentle, slow, very gradual change in habits over a long period of time, years really. I never forced the issues. If you take a vow and fail, so what? Tomorrow is another day. You turn around and try again. This is not a sprint, it's a decades-long marathon. Once the habits are changed, it takes no effort to keep the regimen. Nowadays my diet is the way it is because I actually like it. E.g. I developed an intense dislike for popcorn (tastes like flavored cardboard) and fast food (it's way too salty and greasy). The body gets used to exercising and it gets restless if you don't work out.
Slow gradual gentle changes, never forcing the issues, drive the habits deep into the psyche. If you feel you can't keep this up for decades to come, you're trying too hard - so scale back a notch. That's it. Good luck.
I'm 6'2" and I've never weighed over 175lbs (thanks to running), so it's not an overt health issue. My deep-seated fear is that I'm doing long-term damage to my body by not eating enough fruit compared to the amount of vegetables I consume. Health guidelines almost never make it clear if there are suitable replacements for things like fruits in other food categories.
This is the key. I like what you've said. So many people want a quick fix, but if you are looking for a quick fix, then most likely it's temporary.
I'd argue that for, a lot of people living in developed countries, things like exposure to poor air quality should be considered a lifestyle choice.
For example, if I eat McDonalds, but then I also eat a bunch of fruits and veggies, would that mitigate the risk?
for breast cancer: the highest offender = obesity is 8.7%, only a multiple of two to the mean <4%
to me it only means that the cause of throat and colon cancer is relatively known (smoke and meat) while it's gray area for breast cancer
smoke -> throat kinda makes sense
meat -> bowel? (turns out meat contains no fiber, and lack of fiber accounts for 12.2% so lumping meat and lack of fiber equal a whopping 33.3%) ... makes sense?
I think the link is tentative, but pregnancy and breast feeding reduces your lifetime exposure to estrogen which can be a promoter of certain types of cancers.
FTA (scroll down):
Colorectal / Bowel : meat 21.1%, obesity 13%, lack-of-fibre 12.2%
it's not surprising meat and lack-of-fibre are correlated (meat contains no fibre)
And this kind of financial view ignores that the whole purpose of doing something collectively is to support what the collective, on average, _wants_ to do. It makes no sense to apply some supposedly objective standard of how people should lead their lives.
People can do whatever they want in the UK when it comes to healthcare - you can go to the NHS or go private if you want. Nobody makes you go to an NHS hospital.
Of course, what you can't opt out of is the tax bill that pays for the NHS - but as the NHS is reasonably efficient I don't mind paying for it if it means that everyone in the country has access to decent health care.