In the 1960s, the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania stood out as a statistical anomaly defined by a population with an almost complete absence of deaths from heart attacks, despite lifestyles associated with heart disease. Many were overweight, they ate lots of traditional meats, cheeses, cooked with lard and smoked cigars. Scientists were keen to discover the reason behind this anomaly. Their conclusions?
After analysing the lifestyles in the town, the only thing they could put it down to was the value of community and relationships in the town.
The town was close-knit, completely stress-free and crime-free. There was an even distribution of wealth, no one particularly poor or rich. They were happy.
The researchers predicted that this would only last until the town became more Americanized, and they were right. A follow-up study 50 years later published in the American Journal of Public Health compared mortality rates in Roseto from the 1950s-60s to 1992.
The study found that mortality rates from heart attacks had risen to that of neighbouring towns “following a period of erosion of traditionally cohesive and community relationships.”
So, what is the point of this story? Well, research in the field of positive psychology has confirmed the ability of the mind to influence the body, with a review of over 160 studies carried out by the University of Illinois consistently showing that a positive “subjective wellbeing” was associated with lower rates of disease and increased longevity.
This is important in an age when there is so much fear-mongering about diet, about what foods to eat, or more likely not to eat. We have got to the point where the pursuit of health causes more stress to people than it is worth. And everyone is convinced that the only way forward is to be 100%, all of the time.
If you’re beating yourself up over a pizza, then your approach to your physical health is causing you stress and anxiety, and it’s not worth it. Be the person getting it right 80% of the time, enjoying life, food, drinks, friends and family, and happy, rather than the person trying to nail it 100% of the time in a world of restrictions and being utterly miserable.
Forget 100%, it doesn’t exist, and it’s not required. If you’re getting things right 80% of the time then smile because you’re killing it.
A reminder, we’re crowdfunding on Seedrs. Check out our story here and we’d love our community to come on the journey and invest. ‘Capital at Risk, Approved by Seedrs’
As always, stay fit and stay healthy!
– Team Bua Fit
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