How many ‘microlives’ have you lost today? - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

How many ‘microlives’ have you lost today?

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Ever wonder how long you'll live? Most of us have at one time or another. Now a college professor has come up with an unconventional way to measure ways people shorten their life spans.

Most of us understand that lifestyle choices affect longevity. Now a professor of statistics at Cambridge University has come up with a system to quantify the risks.  

Writing in the journal BMJ, he coins the term "microlife," which equals a half-hour of your life expectancy. And, boy, does time fly! 

Each time you smoke a cigarette, have more than one alcoholic drink, watch two hours of television or eat a hamburger, you lose a microlife, a half-hour of your life span.

You can gain microlives with exercise, reducing alcohol intake, eating fruits and vegetables and taking statin drugs that control cholesterol.  

The author admits his system is more for popular than for scientific consumption. Even so, he says the system could be useful for health professionals.  Thinking of a burger as 30 minutes taken off your life is certainly incentive to curb your appetite. 

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