Health Advice



Work to prevent one hazard and you help prevent six others

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

You may hate childproof lids that make it difficult to take an aspirin when you need one fast, but as a direct result of the 1970 Poison Prevention Packaging Act, deaths have decreased by 1.4 for every million kids ages 5 and younger. Simple changes have big benefits.

The same is true for the leading causes of death in adults. Most cases might be avoided or significantly delayed if you put a hard-to-remove lid on your activities that trigger inflammation, obesity and a dysfunctional gut biome.

According to a new study in JAMA Network, top noninfectious causes of death in U.S. adults in 2020 were heart disease (No. 1) and cancer (No. 2), as well as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and kidney disease. The interesting thing is, as diverse as these conditions are, they're all influenced by the same lifestyle choices: what you eat, how you move, your sleep quality, your level of chronic stress and the use of drugs/toxic substances, including nicotine and alcohol. Cap those activities and you dramatically slash your risk for premature demise.

The lifestyle repairs that work are: 150 minutes per week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity; no smoking anything; limited alcohol; eating a plant-centered diet with no red meat, added sugars or highly processed foods; limited added salt; and controlling your stress response and improving sleep quality using mindful meditation and maybe talk therapy. And if you adopt those steps to reduce one high-risk problem, you get six others fixed for free. Who doesn't like that equation?



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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