We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There is no convincing evidence that "healthy eating" - whatever that is (eating "organic" vegetables?) - or a "healthy lifestyle," eg exercising daily or whatever - has any beneficial effect on your long-term medical future.
Those things might - or will - make you feel better, happier, and more functional, and nobody likes to carry 30 lbs. of unecessary lard around with them, looking like a muffin-top or worse. Nothing to do with health, though. And that is why "Lifestyle Medicine" is quackery which has been foisted on a credulous public.
...itís little wonder, then, that the results of every major randomized, controlled clinical trial of healthy eating and lifestyles to date have been ignored, downplayed, or explained away... or their benefits greatly overstated. As incredible as it seems, they have failed to demonstrate significant benefit in preventing chronic diseases of old age, like the big three diabetes, heart disease or cancers, or in living longer. Nor has any healthy eating intervention been credibly shown to give everyone a government-approved BMI.
Other than avoiding smoking and substance abuse, and taking our medicines, our fates are sadly not in our hands.
I'm with you about the probably small influence of healthy lifestyle on lifespan itself. Exercise and a moderate diet come easily to me and I am vigorous most of the time. Which is chicken, which is egg, and how much do they have to do with each other? Heck, I don't know. I do know I enjoy exercise and food, but I don't actually enjoy heavy eating. So I'm not so much abstemious, turning down what I want and believe I shouldn't have, as easily satisfied at the table. Same thing with exercise: I push myself a little but I generally enjoy it and I feel lazy and dragged out when I don't exercise. Genetic? Childhood lifestyle? Good choices? Heh. I dunno.
Apart from the empirical questions, another dimension of this subject fascinates me. Why do liberals and conservatives seem to have their pet areas where they like to believe that self-indulgence is harmless (I'm not taking a position-just noticing). It's certainly not true in every case, but my impression is that one is more likely to find liberals who worry about the consequences of indulging their appetites for food, while conservatives are more likely to celebrate the notion that food can be indulged without consequence.
But, when it comes to sex, we generally see the opposite state of affairs.