More info, better lifestyle? I’m not so sure

According to a report from the UK discussed on the medicalexpress.com web site,  a large majority of middle-aged people surveyed in parts of the UK claim they would start to live a healthier lifestyle in order to diminish their risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life.

Apparently 75 % of the 164 people who remembered the advice on dementia risk said they were more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing dementia, while 80 percent said the advice would have some impact on their behaviour.

But if you ask me, most of those 123 “sure, we’ll do it soon” people are likely lying, probably more to themselves than to the survey takers, but lying nevertheless.

Look, everyone with an interest in dementia must know by now that the known risk factors for dementia are thought to be very similar to the major risk factors for heart disease: Not being physically active enough, smoking, drinking to excess, eating right and most of the others that are constantly being trumpeted by the media, your doctors, health authorities, and every expert in the field as what we all should be doing more of.

So if those 123 “sure, we’ll do it soon” middle-aged people haven’t adopted healthier lifestyles by now, at a time in life where they can presumably make such adjustments, I’m willing to bet a bob or two or many more (it’s legal to bet over there in the UK) that they will likely never change no matter how much more information they’re given.

Sure, like George Costanza who wanted to be smart but knew he wasn’t, those people want to change but change is hard and alas, information is rarely enough to elicit substantial alteration in behavior in more than a handful of people.

I wish it were otherwise but I’ve been around long enough to know better.