Research: Link between healthy outlook and healthy lifestyle

(Medical Xpress)—A 'can do' attitude is the key to a healthy lifestyle, University of Melbourne economists have determined.

Researchers from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research analysed data on the diet, exercise and of more than 7000 people.

The study found those who believe their life can be changed by their own actions ate healthier food, exercised more, smoked less and avoided .

Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, said those who have a greater faith in 'luck' or 'fate' are more likely to live an unhealthy life.

"Our research shows a direct link between the type of personality a person has and a ," she said.

Professor Cobb-Clark hoped the study would help inform public health policies on conditions such as obesity.

"The main policy response to the has been the provision of better information, but information alone is insufficient to change people's eating habits," she said.

"Understanding the psychological underpinning of a person's eating patterns and is central to understanding obesity."

The study also found men and women hold different views on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  

Men wanted physical results from their , while women were more receptive to the everyday enjoyment of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Professor Cobb-Clarke said the research demonstrated the need for more targeted policy responses.

"What works well for women may not work well for men," she said.

"Gender specific policy initiatives which respond to these objectives may be particularly helpful in promoting healthy lifestyles."

The study used data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.

Related Stories

Peer pressure can keep you healthy

Dec 06, 2010

Hanging out with healthy friends could be the best way to keep fit. A study of 3610 Australian women, published in BioMed Central's open access International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that p ...

Healthy lifestyle habits lower heart failure risk

Sep 13, 2011

If you don't smoke, aren't overweight, get regular physical activity and eat vegetables, you can significantly reduce your risk for heart failure, according to research reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart ...

Unhealthy lifestyle associated with sexual dysfunction

Jul 06, 2011

A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that several unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as weight problems, physical inactivity, high alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, and hard drugs are associ ...

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

3 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments