Cryptocurrency Giant FTX Files for Bankruptcy, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Retires
Cryptocurrency giant FTX and its subsidiaries have begun the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with founder Sam Bankman-Freed stepping down as CEO.
The filing represents a stunning turnaround for the cryptocurrency exchange, which was once valued at $32 billion and has been considered the face of the industry thanks to massive marketing and promotional efforts.
Bankman-Fried’s retirement, 30, is staggering. He was a cryptocurrency wunderkind who graced the covers of Forbes and Fortune and became a major Democratic donor and leader of what has been called the “effective altruism” movement that sought to reshape philanthropy.
Last week, the exchange faced the equivalent of a bank withdrawal as observers and customers questioned whether the exchange is both liquid (meaning it can provide on-demand currency for payment to customers who want to withdraw funds) and solvent, which Which means it’s solvent. loans and investments were worth more than their debts.
“I want to assure every employee, customer, lender, contracting party, shareholder, investor, government agency, and other interested party that we will carry out this job with diligence, diligence, and transparency,” John J. Ray, new CEO of FTX. Group,” says the company’s official Twitter account.
On Friday, Bankman-Fried sent out a series of tweets expressing hope that FTX could continue operations after bankruptcy.
“I’m putting all the details together, but I was surprised to see it all fall apart like it did earlier this week,” he said.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a business to develop a plan to reorganize and maintain its business while working to pay its creditors.
The media reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are currently investigating FTX.
The effects of the crisis have also affected Bankman-Freed’s charitable group, Future Fund. On Thursday night, the fund team announced his resignation.
“We are very sorry that it has come to this,” the team said in a letter, adding: “To the extent that FTX management may have been involved in deception or dishonesty, we condemn such behavior in the strongest possible terms. We believe that being a good actor in the world means striving to act with honesty and integrity.”
Bitcoin, already in a recent downturn, fell to $16,500 on Friday. In September, it was around $22,000.
FTX has become one of the most recognizable brands of the recent cryptocurrency boom thanks to sponsorship deals that have placed its logo on Miami Heat Stadium and on the jerseys of every MLB referee.
Founded in 2019, FTX has grown to 1 million users worldwide in two years, with an average daily trading volume of $10 billion. In 2021, it raised $900 million in funding from prominent venture capitalists and hedge funds, including SoftBank Group and Sequoia Capital.
The exchange managed to outperform the competition in part thanks to the presence of Bankman-Fried, a humble MIT physics graduate who worked for three years at a Wall Street quantitative trading firm and was committed to the philosophy of effective altruism, according to which philanthropy should be as efficient as possible.
The FTX breakup was sparked by a Nov. 2 news article on cryptocurrency news website Coindesk.com that published a leaked balance sheet showing that the assets of an affiliated trading company run by Bankman-Fried called Alameda Research depended on largely from FTX’s own holdings. . tab, FTT. NBC News has not independently verified this report.
A few days after the report, rival crypto exchange Binance announced the liquidation of its FTT holdings. Despite Bankman-Fried’s assurances about FTX’s financial health, within two days FTX was inundated with clients requesting to withdraw their assets to FTT, causing its value to drop by 72%.
When FTX faced a sudden crisis, Binance briefly held takeover talks. But Binance ultimately backed down, stating, “As a result of corporate due diligence, as well as recent news about mishandling of customer funds and alleged investigations by the US agency, we have decided that we will not We will proceed with the possible acquisition of FTX.com.”
By Thursday, Bankman-Fried found itself seeking outside financing to salvage the platform. He also published a series of tweets in which he acknowledged some mistakes. “I’m sorry. That’s the most important thing. I was wrong and I should have done better.”
On the same day, the Bahamas Securities Commission, where FTX is located, announced the freezing of FTX’s assets.
“The Board is aware of public allegations suggesting that client assets have been mishandled, mismanaged and/or transferred to Alameda Research,” the Board said. “According to information from the Commission, any such action would be contrary to normal management, without the consent of the client and potentially illegal.”
Finding no way out, FTX filed for bankruptcy on Friday morning.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review: the best, most complete Android phone yet
Our Galaxy S23 Ultra review is based on several weeks of regular use with the phone. We tested three different models throughout that time, First, one review model supplied by Samsung in the U.K. used by Andy Boxall, which was subsequently returned and replaced with a retail version purchased from Samsung’s online store. The other is being used in the U.S. by Joe Maring. All three are unlocked versions of the phone. We’re still using the S23 Ultra regularly, and we’ll continue to update our Galaxy S23 Ultra review as we do so, if any of our observations change.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: design
I came to the Galaxy S23 Ultra from the OnePlus 11 and spent the first few days adapting to the difference between the two. The OnePlus 11 is slim, light, and very “holdable,” and the S23 Ultra really isn’t any of those things. If you’re coming from a phone that isn’t nearly 9mm thick, 78mm wide, and 233 grams in weight, you’re really going to notice how much of a handful the S23 Ultra is.
It’s not unmanageable, but there is a period of adjustment involved unless you’re already using the Galaxy S22 Ultra or an iPhone 14 Pro Max, which are the closest analogs to the S23 Ultra’s size.PreviousNext
Joe Maring/Digital Trends
You will get used to the S23 Ultra’s size and weight, but if you’ve got small hands, the width and thickness make singlehanded use very difficult, which is far harder to overcome. It’s a consideration that’s mostly unnecessary on phones like the OnePlus 11, iPhone 14 Pro, or even the Galaxy S23 Plus. If this is going to be your first massive smartphone, before you buy it, go and hold one first and see if you think it’ll fit into your lifestyle. Some folks may never adjust to the S23 Ultra’s size, and for them, the much smaller and more pocketable Galaxy S23 will be a better fit.
Samsung hasn’t really changed the design of the Galaxy S23 Ultra over the S22 Ultra. It’s still that familiar all-business look, with curved sides to the chassis and the screen, tiny bezels, and five circular camera modules on the back. It’s not especially eye-catching, but this will be part of its appeal. There’s a maturity to the simple stylishness of the S23 Ultra, and the device itself is instantly recognizable too. It’s not going to be mistaken for an iPhone 14 Pro Max or a Google Pixel 7 Pro.
The build quality is superb, it’s incredibly substantial, and it should be very durable too. The S23 Ultra has an IP68 water-resistance rating, Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and Samsung’s latest Armor Aluminum chassis material. The weight means putting it in a case will protect it in the event of a fall onto something hard, but there’s a degree of reassurance that comes from Samsung’s commitment to durability that’s missing from many of its competitors.
This also applies to Samsung’s use of recycled materials, and its lengthy software update commitment, which, when combined with the durability and performance of the phone, adds up to it being a device you’ll be happy to keep for years. It used to be fine to keep a phone for two years if you were keen on mobile tech, but this is a three-or-more-year device.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: colors
There are eight different color options for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The standard Phantom Black, Lavender, Cream, and Green models are widely available, but if you order directly from Samsung you can choose one of four exclusive colors. These are Lime, Graphite, Red, and Sky Blue. If you do opt for one of the Samsung-only colors, you may have to wait a little longer for delivery.
We started off using the green Galaxy S23 Ultra, and it’s certainly attractive. Green is an on-trend color for smartphones, with everything from the iPhone 13 Pro to the OnePlus 11 tackling the tricky shade. Samsung didn’t go for a bright or forest green, toning it down for a subtle look when it wasn’t in the right light. It stood out a little more when the light did hit it, but it’s hardly an attention grabber.PreviousNext
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Step forward with Samsung’s exclusive colors. These really will grab attention, as they’re far brighter and more eye-catching. I chose the Sky Blue model, which took a week longer to ship than a standard colored model, and am very pleased with my choice.
I considered the red model but preferred the Sky Blue model’s chrome finish on the chassis to the red version’s black finish. The blue is still quite subtle, taking on a paler, almost silver color at certain angles. If you can handle the long wait, you won’t be disappointed with one of Samsung’s exclusive colors.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: camera
The headline feature is Samsung’s own ISOCELL HP2 200-megapixel camera. It’s joined by a far more conventional 12MP wide-angle camera with a 120-degree field of view, plus a pair of 10MP telephoto cameras for a 3x and 10x optical zoom. The camera is also equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS) and laser autofocus, plus a Super Resolution Zoom with recommended levels of 30x and 100x digital zoom.
It’s possible to shoot photos at the full 200MP resolution; just be aware that these take up at least 40MB of space on their own, compared to the more usual 4MB to 7MB 12MP shots the camera takes by default.
Here’s the most important thing you need to know about the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera: the reason to buy it is not the 200MP camera, but its incredible zoom capabilities. They are transformative and make the camera so much more versatile than what’s on any other phone available today. The quality of the 3x and 10x zoom is excellent, but now the 30x zoom is catching up. And although the 100x still isn’t great, it’s much better than ever before. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s telephoto cameras take photos that are impossible to replicate on any other smartphone, at least with the same quality. You’ll have a lot of fun taking amazing zoom photos with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.PreviousNext
10x Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The main camera takes brilliant photos, but you won’t really know it’s a 200MP camera. Shots have a vibrant, exciting tone, with strong colors and masses of detail. I like the overall atmosphere the camera creates, which straddles the line between realism and hyperrealism very effectively. Most of the time, the colors are amped up by just the right amount, but it can slip into oversaturation when faced with reds and blues in some situations.
It takes considerably brighter photos than the iPhone 14 Pro and exposes more detail in the shadows too, but this comes at the expense of a natural color palette. The camera also produces shots with a very different atmosphere. I’d call them more instantly shareable, but that won’t be deemed a good thing by everyone. Comparing the Galaxy S23 Ultra camera to the Google Pixel 7 Pro, one of our favorite camera phones, was a real eye-opener; the Galaxy S23 Ultra has stolen the Google phone’s crown.PreviousNext
Galaxy S23 Ultra main camera
The Galaxy S23 Ultra can struggle in difficult lighting conditions, there’s a bug where it will sometimes fail to focus when using the 10x zoom, and the viewfinder doesn’t always accurately show what the photo will look like. This is a problem because they look much worse than the end result, which may stop you from taking a photo that would end up being fine. These are issues that may be resolved through a software update, as we are using the phone ahead of its final release.PreviousNext
You can also download Samsung’s Expert RAW app from the Galaxy App Store, which unlocks the camera’s potential to take professional-level images in RAW format that are ready to be edited in apps such as Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is the default editor for the app, but it requires a subscription to use all of its features. Pay through the app, and Lightroom Premium costs $5 per month, and it comes with an extended two-month free trial.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of what the camera is capable of, but it has greatly impressed. It’s the versatility that makes it so desirable, and I feel confident I will be able to take any photo I want with it — and that’s something other phones can’t quite provide.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: video recording
I continue to adore the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera for stills; it’s so incredibly versatile that I rarely feel it can’t capture the shot I want. But what about the video performance? The Galaxy S23 Ultra can record video at up to 8K resolution at 24 frames-per-second (fps), or at a more reasonable 4K at 60fps. It also has many special modes, including slow-motion, Hyperlapse, and Portrait video.
You’ll have to be mindful of storage space shooting at higher resolutions. A minute of 8K video takes up about 620MB, while 4K resolution fills almost the same amount of space at 550MB on average. If you do this regularly, and start shooting 200MP stills, too, then it’s easy to see how quickly 256GB of storage space would be filled. It’s worth considering the 512GB version or even more if you want to take a lot of video.
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Galaxy S23 Ultra Sample Video Part 1
But what does the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s video actually look like? To find out, I took the phone with me on a short trip away and made a point to shoot as much video as possible, instead of mostly taking still photos as usual. You can read my complete article on what it’s like to use the S23 Ultra as a video camera, with several examples of performance — plus you can see one of the videos from it above. I really enjoyed using the S23 Ultra’s video mode, as it repeats all the still camera modes, giving you a lot of versatility. It can’t beat stills for me, personally, but there’s no question it’s just as powerful if you prefer it.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: performance
Powerful isn’t a strong enough word to describe the incredible ability of the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We’d already been impressed by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the Iqoo 11 and the OnePlus 11, but here — in its custom “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy” guise — it’s an absolute monster. I’d love to say I have pushed the phone to its limits, but I don’t think I’ve come close. I play games, use apps, make calls, use Bluetooth and Samsung DeX, take 200-megapixel photos, and shoot some 8K video. Even with all of that, the S23 Ultra just shrugs it all off.
Playing Asphalt 9: Legends for 30 minutes doesn’t cause any noticeable temperature increase apart from a tiny bit around the top edge, but nothing that you’d call hot, or even that warm. Recording a 15-minute Hyperlapse video caused the phone to heat up more around the camera module –not so it was burning, but definitely hot to the touch. Apps start and refresh in seconds, and even Google Maps grabs a signal and loads the local area faster than other phones I’ve used. When you start noticing little things like that, it means the entire system is incredibly smooth and fast.
Powerful isn’t a strong enough word to describe the incredible ability of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
My review model has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage space. There is an 8GB version available, but it’s probably worth getting the higher specification one if you’re planning to keep the phone for a while. Internal storage is also an important consideration. A single 200MP photo is at least 40MB, and a minute of 8K video is often close to 600MB. That’s before you’ve installed any games, and some of the top games today can take up to 10GB alone. Do think about the 512GB model if you intend to keep it for a while.
This time, Samsung hasn’t made an Exynos version of the Galaxy S23 Ultra for global markets. I’m extremely glad, as I can’t see any way the almost overwhelming ability of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy could be beaten. Buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and be safe in the knowledge you’ll have to work pretty hard to reach its limits.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: screen and software
That’s 6.8 inches of Super Dynamic AMOLED screen you’re looking at on the front of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and it’s even bigger than the massive iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 7 Pro. It’s enormous, and has the brightness to go with its size. Peak brightness is 1,750 nits, and even walking around Manhattan on a (surprisingly) sunny February morning, Section Editor Joe Maring could still see the screen perfectly. I’ve had no problem seeing the screen, either. It’s easily comparable to the iPhone 14 Pro’s similarly bright display.
Watching Disney+ and Amazon Prime, the screen’s vibrant colors and deep blacks are immediately obvious, and the sheer size of the screen makes it more immersive than you’d expect from a mobile device. I love the wide viewing angle too, so even when the phone is flat on a desk, video still looks excellent and just like you’re watching it straight-on.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars looks amazing, with tons of detail on show. The audio is great too, with centralized dialogue and expansive music, plus a pleasing amount of depth. When playing games, though, your palm does tend to cover the lower speaker unless you hold the phone “upside down” when the buttons get in the way and are less natural to press.
Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 software is installed. While there are some very small changes over One UI 5.0, using it appears to be an identical experience to the software on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It takes time to get the best from One UI as it’s quite feature-dense, and you really have to work to find many of the best or most helpful ones. For example, did you know you can change the lock screen clock, notification layout, and add filters to the wallpaper? To find these capabilities, you have to tap and hold the screen when the phone is locked, rather than it being an option when the phone is unlocked.
None of the additional features are pushed at you, though, so it never feels overwhelming, and you don’t get the impression you’re underutilizing the device. As you explore and find new features, the good news is they mostly work very well and are rarely gimmicky. Samsung’s DeX system is a good example, as the phone can be connected to a monitor or PC to provide a big-screen PC-like experience. I wouldn’t use it very often, but it’s very effective when it is called into action.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s software features work very well and are rarely gimmicky.
Samsung provides one of the longest commitments to software updates in the industry, with four years of major OS updates and five years of security updates too. It’s another crucial aspect of the device’s longevity, and a reason to buy and keep using your phone for years to come.
I always make a core set of adjustments in One UI when I set it up, and once they’re done, the software looks and works just as I like. I’d put it up against Android on the Pixel 7 in terms of speed, and although it’s not quite as simple to use as Google’s version, it’s more intuitive and fun than OxygenOS 13 on the OnePlus 11. It’s reliable, attractively designed, consistent in its look, and almost always logical to use.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: S Pen Stylus
The Galaxy Note series has been retired, and the top S Series phone has taken its place; hence you’ll find the S Pen stylus hidden in a slot on the bottom of the phone — another reason this is a big smartphone. It’s securely held in place, and the tiny internal battery powering the Bluetooth is charged while it’s docked, ensuring it’s always ready to go. the pen is thin and relatively short, but I find it comfortable to hold and scribble notes. I’m no artist, though, and the stubby length may not be comfortable enough to craft any masterpieces.
It’s as multifunctional as you could expect from a stylus, providing ways to clip images and text, translate text, take notes, sketch, and even make use of it as a remote shutter button for the phone’s camera. There’s no question it’s well-engineered and is more versatile than a passive stylus, but whether you use it regularly or not depends on your eagerness to take handwritten notes or sketch on your phone.PreviousNext
I don’t find many opportunities to use the primary features very often, but I do like one feature a lot. When you remove the pen while the phone is locked, you can scribble endless notes on the black screen. Press the side button to erase a word, and tap Save to store the note in Samsung Notes. It’s incredibly responsive, very fast, and the palm rejection is spot-on. Jotting things down on your phone like this is seamless and really fast.
It’s not just lock-screen notes that are fast — it’s the whole thing. Use the instant translation feature by hovering the S Pen over the top of the text you want to translate, and in less than a few seconds, it appears in a pop-up box. If you use it on Twitter, it’s faster than the platform’s own translation system. The S Pen is not a reason to buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra on its own, but it is a great piece of added value. You may not use it all the time, but when you do, its speed and precision are outstanding.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: battery and charging
The Galaxy S23 Ultra does not come with a charger in the box but does come with a USB Type-C-to-Type-C cable. The phone supports Samsung’s fastest 45-watt charging technology, which requires either a Samsung Super Fast Charging 2.0 charger or a compatible charger from another brand that supports both it and the USB Power Delivery PPS standard. It makes charging the Galaxy S23 Ultra at its fastest speeds a little confusing if you’re a newcomer, so you want to make sure you choose the right charger when going to buy one.
Obviously, Samsung wants you to buy its own charger, which costs around $30, but others are available if you search. I’ve used the Anker 313 GaN charger, which is compatible with both Power Delivery PPS and Super Fast Charging 2.0, and it charged the phone in 63 minutes. It’s not as fast as the OnePlus 11, but very few phones are, and an hour is acceptable for a battery of this capacity.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s battery is more than capable to keep you going.
I’d like it to be a little simpler to work out which chargers and cables will be compatible. If you charge it using a charger that’s not compatible with Samsung’s technology, it’s a lot slower. A regular charger takes around 100 minutes to fully charge the battery, and that’s not great. I do like the way it shows the estimated charge time on the lock screen, helping you plan ahead, and it also tells you what kind of charging system is being used. For example, it does state if Super Fast Charging 2.0 is active.
5 Tips for Finding the Right Landscape Designer for Your Home
Finding the right landscape designer for your home can be a tricky process. But if you know what to look for, it’ll be easier!
One of the first things to consider when deciding on a designer is their reputation. You should check their customer reviews and find out how many projects they’ve worked on.
Look for Reputation
When finding a good landscape designer for your home, reputation is one of the most critical factors. Reputation is the belief of others about someone or something, and it’s the most valuable asset a business can have.
A designer’s reputation is essential because it can determine whether or not you hire them for your project. A designer with a good reputation is likely to be experienced, trustworthy, and knowledgeable about landscaping.
Experience can also help you avoid minor issues arising during your landscape design process. For example, a designer who has worked in the same area for several years is more likely to have experience working with your microclimate and understanding which plants will thrive in that climate.
Another way to assess a designer’s reputation is by asking for references. You can also find out if they have won any awards or accolades for their work.
Look for Experience
Experience is valuable in finding the right landscape designer for your home. A professional landscaper will know how to avoid obstacles and distractions that can derail a project and be better equipped to handle surprises.
Experience is just as necessary when hiring a landscaper as reputation and reviews. Look for a company that has been in business for at least a decade and has a solid track record of completing successful projects.
The best way to learn about a company’s experience is to ask for references from previous customers. It’s also a good idea to check out their portfolios and visit any gardens they’ve designed to see the finished results for yourself.
You’ll be working closely with your landscape designer, so you must find someone you can trust and collaborate effectively. You’ll also want to ensure they’re a good communicator who can quickly answer your questions. You’ll also need to communicate your budget and timeline so they can design a space that fits your needs.
Look for Reviews
When finding the right landscape designer for your home, you’ll want to ensure that they have an impressive track record. One way to do this is by reading reviews online.
It would help if you also asked for references and testimonials from previous clients. These provide a lot of information about how easy a specific company will work with.
Lastly, be sure to check out their portfolio. This can give you an idea of their design styles and the types of things they’ve worked with.
A landscape designer can help you turn your backyard into a beautiful outdoor space you will be proud to call home. They can also create a landscape that will enhance your property value and improve the quality of life for you and your family. By following these five tips, you’ll be able to find the right landscape designer for your home!
Look for Portfolios
When finding the right landscape designer for your home, it is essential to look at their portfolio. This will give you an idea of the kind of work they do and whether or not they can meet your needs.
You should also ensure that your chosen company is reputable and offers quality services. This can be done by checking their reputation and reviews online or calling them for references.
A good landscape design can enhance your property and improve its overall appearance. It can also help you enjoy nature in an environment that is easy to maintain and keep safe for children and pets.
A good landscape designer will work with you to create a space that suits your lifestyle and budget. They will also provide a detailed landscaping plan, including hardscapes, beds, and plants.
Look for a Contract
The right landscape designer can transform your backyard into an exciting and functional space. A professional can make it happen whether you want to create a wildlife haven, an engaging play area for your kids, or simply a shady nook for quiet garden enjoyment.
But before talking to a potential landscape contractor, set a clear vision for your property. Putting your ideas on paper will help you get the most out of initial meetings.
A good landscape designer will begin their design process with a questionnaire to collect basic information about your project, goals, and expectations. This will help them understand your tastes, planting do’s and don’ts, and your budget so they can develop a plan that fits your needs and meets your budget.
Once they’ve gathered all the necessary information, they’ll usually meet with you to go over the design plan and discuss any changes that need to be made. This is essential because it’s generally easier to make changes early in the process and keep everything on track.
Healthy lifestyle: 5 keys to a longer life
How is it that the United States spends the most money on healthcare, and yet still has the one of the lowest life expectancies of all developed nations? (To be specific: $9,400 per capita, 79 years, and 31st.)
Maybe those of us in healthcare have been looking at it all wrong, for too long.
Healthy lifestyle and longevity
Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a massive study of the impact of health habits on life expectancy, using data from the well-known Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). This means that they had data on a huge number of people over a very long period of time. The NHS included over 78,000 women and followed them from 1980 to 2014. The HPFS included over 40,000 men and followed them from 1986 to 2014. This is over 120,000 participants, 34 years of data for women, and 28 years of data for men.
The researchers looked at NHS and HPFS data on diet, physical activity, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption that had been collected from regularly administered, validated questionnaires.
What is a healthy lifestyle, exactly?
These five areas were chosen because prior studies have shown them to have a large impact on risk of premature death. Here is how these healthy habits were defined and measured:
1. Healthy diet, which was calculated and rated based on the reported intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, and unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.
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2. Healthy physical activity level, which was measured as at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.
3. Healthy body weight, defined as a normal body mass index (BMI), which is between 18.5 and 24.9.
4. Smoking, well, there is no healthy amount of smoking. “Healthy” here meant never having smoked.
5. Moderate alcohol intake, which was measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women, and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, one drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
Researchers also looked at data on age, ethnicity, and medication use, as well as comparison data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.
Does a healthy lifestyle make a difference?
As it turns out, healthy habits make a big difference. According to this analysis, people who met criteria for all five habits enjoyed significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none: 14 years for women and 12 years for men (if they had these habits at age 50). People who had none of these habits were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Study investigators also calculated life expectancy by how many of these five healthy habits people had. Just one healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one… extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan. This is one of those situations where I wish I could reprint their graphs for you, because they’re so cool. (But if you’re very curious, the article is available online, and the graphs are on page 7. Check out Graph B, “Estimated life expectancy at age 50 according to the number of low-risk factors.”)
This is huge. And, it confirms prior similar research — a lot of prior similar research. A 2017 study using data from the Health and Retirement Study found that people 50 and older who were normal weight, had never smoked, and drank alcohol in moderation lived on average seven years longer. A 2012 mega-analysis of 15 international studies that included over 500,000 participants found that over half of premature deaths were due to unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking. And the list of supporting research goes on.
So what’s our (big) problem?
As the authors of this study point out, in the US we tend to spend outlandishly on developing fancy drugs and other treatments for diseases, rather than on trying to prevent them. This is a big problem.
Experts have suggested that the best way to help people make healthy diet and lifestyle change is at the large-scale, population level, through public health efforts and policy changes. (Kind of like motorcycle helmets and seat belt legislation…) We have made a little progress with tobacco and trans-fat legislation.
There’s a lot of pushback from big industry on that, of course. If we have guidelines and laws helping us to live healthier, big companies aren’t going to sell as much fast food, chips, and soda. And for companies hell-bent on making money at the cost of human life, well, that makes them very angry.
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