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How late is too late to break bad habits?
Date:4/23/2009

Research linking bad habits such as smoking and the direct impact on a senior's health will be presented during the American Geriatrics Society's Annual Meeting April 29 - May 3 in Chicago, IL. The study followed more than 2,000 seniors who were current smokers, past smokers and had never smoked. All three groups were compared to show a link between smoking and the speed at which participants walked. After five years, it was discovered that smokers showed a significantly slower pace in their gait than those who had previously smoked. These study results suggest that even at an older age, changing bad habits such as smoking can positively impact a senior's health later in life.

Eliminating bad habits such as poor food choices and lack of exercise which can lead to weight gain or poor muscle condition has been an ongoing struggle for seniors. And, according to Alison Moore, M.D., member of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), the most important part of successfully changing bad habits is to go into the transformation with a positive attitude.

Dr. Moore offers the following suggestions to help older adults conquer some of the more common bad habits:

Bad Food Choices: Excess weight can cause multiple health problems and complications, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Substituting good carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, wheat bread, brown rice) for bad carbohydrates (white potatoes, white bread, white rice) and adding lean proteins, while limiting foods with high fat and sugar contents, will help seniors maintain a healthy weight.

Smoking and Drinking: Smoking and excessive alcohol intake is proven to have negative health effects on a person at any age, but seniors who smoke and drink regularly increase their chances of more advanced medical problems. The effects of many medications are altered when mixed with alcohol, which can pose serious health risks, especially for seniors taking multiple medicati
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Contact: Jennifer Bender
jbender@environics-usa.com
203-325-8772 x18
American Geriatrics Society
Source:Eurekalert

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