We knew fast food was bad for us, but we didn’t know just how bad until now. Thanks to David Spiegelhalter, PhD, it is now possible to find out exactly how bad habits are for us. Spiegelhalter’s paper even tells us how many minutes are taken away from each day of the rest of our lives by bad habits such as smoking and poor food choices.
The paper, published in the British Medical Journal, notes that it’s possible to attach and actual number of minutes of life lost to each bad habit.
Spiegelhalter, a biostatistician and risk communication expert at the University of Cambridge used to speed of aging and previous epidemiological mortality studies to quantify how certain behaviors hurt us.
Along with eating a burger a day, here are some other bad habits that take 30 minutes a day from your life: Smoking two daily cigarettes, drinking two extra alcoholic drinks (that’s three a day for women, four a day for men), one portion of red meat a day, an extra 11 pounds of body weight, and watching two house of television a day.
Fortunately, Spiegelhalter didn’t just find out the bad news. He also calculated what good habits do for us. Drinking one alcoholic drink a day adds 30 minutes a day to your life. Exercising moderately for 20 minutes a day adds one hour a day to your life. A daily diet of fresh fruits and veggies adds two hours a day.
And, for all the ladies, just being female instead of male adds two hours a day to the rest of your life.
So, if you want to add some time to your life, skip the burger and grab a salad for lunch today. Maybe if he’d ordered a salad, that one guy who assaulted a McDonald’s employee for putting cheese on his hamburger wouldn’t have been in such a bad mood.