Young Europeans More Likely To Make Major Lifestyle Changes To Save Planet, New Survey Reveals

According to a survey taken across seven countries, younger people in Europe are more willing than older generations to make major lifestyle changes that would help combat climate change to help save the planet. 

The Guardian measured the data through the YouGov polling platform, which showed the general worldwide economic downturns in recent years have also dimmed their hopes for the future; more than half of those surveyed stated they were worried they’d be unable to own a home within the next ten years. 

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Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden participated in the survey back in August. The results showed that individuals between the ages of 18-to-24-year-olds felt like current economic conditions could also push them away from starting families. 

According to the Guardian’s report, “28% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 30% of 25- to 34-year-olds said they would be willing – or were already planning – to have fewer children than they would otherwise like.”

54% of individuals in that same age group said they would get rid of their car, or already have, and instead stick to walking, cycling, or public transportation, while only 45% of people over the age of 65 said they would do the same. 41% of the younger generation said they could switch to an electric car against 21% of the older generation. 

Both ends of the age spectrum offered a willingness to make lifestyle changes in order to do their part to combat climate change. The older age groups stated they would be more willing to create smaller adjustments such as refusing to buy single-use plastics, only buying seasonal produce, and creating more green spaces in their homes. 

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Younger generations are more likely to “support radical government measures in key policy areas than older cohorts, but were less favorable than their elders towards public policy moves that could be perceived as incremental.

A ban on the production and sale of petrol and diesel cars, for example, would have the support of 46% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 42% of 25- to 24-year-olds, against 28% of 55- to 64-year-olds and just 22% of respondents over the age of 65,” wrote Jon Henley and Michael Goodier of the Guardian. 

Both age brackets agreed on the general concern of climate change and its impact on our future. More than 70% of the total population surveyed said they were very or fairly worried. 

Additionally, the survey showed that regardless of their age, most Europeans believe that the European Union should be making decisions about how the world and its many nations can combat climate change at a larger level. 

Along with this line of thinking is the belief that a more collaborative effort among the union would lead to more success in the fight against climate change, rather than just letting individual countries make their own policies.

Memory Loss

These Lifestyle Changes Can Delay Dementia Symptoms, Study Suggests

In a new study performed in the UK, scientists measured how 12 major lifestyle changes could help prevent dementia symptoms and delay its development within patients. Things like excessive drinking, exposure to air pollution, and head injuries all increase the risk of dementia, however, if these factors, among the eight others, are addressed early on, it could delay or even prevent dementia symptoms from appearing by nearly 40%. 

50 million people suffer from dementia worldwide. England alone is projected to have 1.2 million cases by 2040, which has acted as an extreme motivation for scientists and doctors looking into ways to treat dementia and slow down its detrimental effects. Professor Gill Livingston was a co-author of the study who claims that while some things like genetics can’t be avoided in terms of potential risk for dementia, lifestyle changes can have an extreme impact on one’s risk. 

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“Dementia is potentially preventable – you can do things to reduce your risk of dementia, whatever stage of life you’re at.”

Even individuals with a high genetic risk of contracting the illness can reduce that risk by implementing these changes into their own lives. The specific report that was recently published builds off a previous study from the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention which addressed nine lifestyle changes that were shown to reduce the risk of dementia by a third. Those changes were a part of this new study as well and included things like midlife hearing loss, depression, a lack of early-childhood education, and smoking.

The three additional lifestyle choices that were included in this study showed that 1% of all dementia cases worldwide, approximately 500,000, are attributed to mid-life excessive alcohol intake. 2% of all dementia cases (~1,000,000) are a result of exposure to air pollution at an older age, and 3% of cases (~1,500,000) are caused by mid-life head injuries. 

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While many of the factors can be taken on in one’s personal life, Livingston believes that it’s mainly up to government officials to implement new systemic changes that can reduce these risks. The report itself includes nine recommendations for the UK government specifically to tackle including improving air quality. 

Livingston also stated that in the past, every decade within the past 30 years has shown a consecutive 15% reduction in dementia risk in North America and Europe likely due to citizens implementing personal lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking. Smoking is thought to be one of the main reasons behind this reduction, as anti-smoking campaigns have grown immensely especially within the last decade. 

Fiona Matthews is a professor of epidemiology, and while she wasn’t involved in the study, she’s studied dementia and the risk-factors for many years. Matthews agrees with Livingston’s point that while there is personal responsibility to make these changes if you’re at risk, the government needs to be doing more to help its citizens do that. 

“Tackling lifestyle risk factors, personally and as a society, remain important, inequalities in population health, as highlighted by Covid-19, should be targeted. The crucial component is the absence of treatments that delay or postpone dementia.” 

The impact of these lifestyle interventions will be greatest among lower to middle class households, due to the fact that they have no control over the societal/world elements that increase the risk of dementia.

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Study Suggests Lifestyle Changes Reduce A Woman’s Risk Of Stroke

A new study performed has determined that even in their middle age, women are way less likely to suffer from a stroke if they begin to adopt a healthy lifestyle at any point during adulthood. The research itself was performed by experts from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the University of São Paulo Medical School in Brazil. The teams used data that’s been gathered as a part of an ongoing study in America called the “Nurses Health Study,” which focuses on investigating “risk factors for major chronic diseases in women.” 

Thanks to data from that study, the researchers had access to health information from over 59,000 women, all of which consented to being involved in these projects. The data provided information regarding each women’s smoking status, exercise/eating habits, as well as their body mass index (BMI), which is a number that represents how healthy one is based on height, weight, and age. Within the Nurses Health Study specifically, all of the women were around 50-years-old when they began, and they remained in the study for an average of 25 years. 

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The findings were published in a journal from the American Stroke Association, called Stroke, and found that 4.7% of the women who made no lifestyle changes at all throughout their 26 years in the study had a stroke of some kind; “2.4 percent experiencing ischemic stroke and 0.7 percent having a hemorrhagic stroke.”

Besides healthier eating habits, the “lifestyle changes” that researchers were looking for specifically focused on those who quit smoking, began doing 30 minutes of exercise a day, and lost weight if they were considered to be overweight from a health officials perspective. If the women made these three specific changes, the study suggests that they could reduce their risk of stroke by up to 25%.

If the women just adopted healthier eating habits, they reduced their stroke risk by 23%. Goodarz Danaei, one of the lead authors of the study, also suggested that by increasing things like fish and nuts in ones diet, while also reducing the amount of unprocessed red meat you eat, would also decrease the risk of stroke in women.

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“We found that changing to a healthy lifestyle, even in your 50s, still has the potential to prevent strokes. Women who made lifestyle modifications in middle age reduced their long-term risk of total stroke by nearly a quarter and ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, by more than one-third,” Danaei said.

Danaei then emphasized that this was simply an observational study, so the data isn’t necessarily concrete enough to make a direct correlation between these specific lifestyle changes and risk of stroke, however, as most studies/professionals will tell you, a healthy life in general will likely lead to less medical ailments/conditions down the road.

Danaei said “there are other studies to support that the proportional changes in stroke risk from lifestyle and dietary modifications may be generalizable to men. We also estimate that exercising 30 minutes or more daily may reduce the risk of stroke by 20 percent.”

With a global pandemic on all of our plates, now really is the perfect time to begin practicing healthier habits in our day-to-day proceedings. It can be so easy to get couch-locked with a bag of chips and candy, but try to start doing little things every day to lead you to a happier and healthier life once all of this is over.

New Years Resolution

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

At the end of each year, millions of people resolve to improve some aspect of their lifestyle for the following year, whether these resolutions include a pledge to work out more, to stick to a diet, or simply to read more books. However, most people don’t end up keeping their resolutions as the year progresses; in fact, according to various sources, only 25% of people continue their new habit a month after making a New Year’s resolution, and only 8% of people maintain their resolution into the following year. Habits can be hard to break and it’s even harder to keep new habits over time; as such, when making a New Year’s resolution, you should have a realistic and well-thought-out plan for how to accomplish your goal.

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One of the biggest mistakes people make when deciding upon New Year’s resolutions is being too ambitious. The start of the year seems to many of us like an opportunity to remake ourselves for the future, as expressed by the popular phrase “new year, new me.” However, while it may seem motivating to set high expectations in this way, seeing the change of the year as a new beginning is a way to set yourself up for failure. This is because in reality human beings are creatures of habit, and as such we are all likely to simply continue our existing habits into the new year, just as we would at the start of a new month or a new week. Instead, it’s a better idea to start with a small goal, and gradually work towards increasing the scope of your goal. For instance, if you’re somebody who doesn’t work out but wants to get fit, resolve to go to the gym once a week instead of five times a week, and then gradually increase the frequency of your gym visits as time goes on and you grow accustomed to this lifestyle change.

Another mistake is to make resolutions based on the outcome of a behavior, not the behavior itself. Though we all have some control over the habits we maintain, there are some things people tend to make as their resolutions which are entirely outside of their control; for instance, if someone’s resolution is to find love within the year, they could be setting themselves up for failure, as whether or not a person finds love depends heavily on factors outside of one person’s control. Instead, a better goal would be to take concrete steps to hopefully improve the probability of that outcome, such as attending more social events and using online dating services.

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An additional tip is to ensure that your resolution is thoroughly planned and specific. If your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, for instance, you’ll find yourself failing to achieve that goal unless you are clear with yourself about how you plan to go about doing so. Instead, spend some time researching the most effective strategies to lose weight, such as determining how often to exercise and how many calories to eat each day. As with many personal goals, the answer to how best to lose weight varies dramatically from person to person, so it is essential to educate yourself about the basics of nutrition and exercise in order to tailor your plan to your individual needs. Writing this plan down and keeping a detailed calendar of how you are progressing are two excellent ways to ensure that you maintain motivation throughout the year to continue your habit, and these strategies provide the added benefit of enabling you to track your improvement over time.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself! Even when we forgo setting ambitious goals for the new year, we often overestimate our ability to carry through with a plan when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, and as a result don’t meet our own expectations of ourselves for the new year. At this point, many of us give up on our goals, feeling that we have failed to achieve what we set out to do. Instead of doing this when you perform more poorly than you had hoped, view the mistake as an opportunity to learn, and consider what factors led you to fall short of your goal. Doing so will allow you to avoid making the same mistake in the future and increases the likelihood of maintaining your resolution through the end of the year.