I'm curious about how laypeople think about healthy lifestyle changes (like eating well, not smoking, exercising) that are scientifically known to help prevent and treat a number of diseases. People are notoriously bad about using such lifestyle changes for a variety of psychological reasons.

Could part of the problem be that they don't believe lifestyle changes are effective? Is there any literature on this? I did look around a bit myself, but did not find anything directly relevant.

  • $\begingroup$ can you clarify the fist paragraph....but usually laziness combined whith who is doing it to begin with. as soon as the cool person it does it, they all follow... $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2013 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ What I meant was: I'd like to know if a possible barrier to people's using lifestyle changes is that they don't believe lifestyle changes to be effective. Does that help? $\endgroup$
    – half-pass
    Dec 11, 2013 at 5:17
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I know the reasons given in the literature are usually that (a) people simply do not like change at all and that (b) often the change leads to less fun and requires more self-control. $\endgroup$
    – user3116
    Dec 13, 2013 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ This is my own theory and i'm not a professional. People often believe that frailty and mental decline come with age and that it is unavoidable. Furthermore, "good" marketing significantly influences people's desires. Marketing depicts unhealthy lifestyles as promoting happiness. Such as showing people drinking liquor and smiling and having fun. Regardless of their logical/rational knowledge, their belief is that those bad choices make them happy. The key: People don't know enough details, so they are afraid that good lifestyle choices will be a waste of time and make them unhappy. $\endgroup$
    – Reed
    May 16, 2015 at 15:10


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