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Alcohol Consumption and Cheap Medical Insurance Don't Mix Posted: April 7th, 2010

Drinking and Medical Insurance: An Unhealthy Cocktail

Those who drink more may eat less healthy dietsm according to a new study conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). More than 15,000 adults participated in the study, which revealed that people who drink more often are less likely to eat fruit and more likely to indulge in items with higher fat and sugar content. Higher alcohol consumption and an unhealthy diet can have a negative affect on your health and your checkbook--especially when it comes to finding cheap medical insurance.

Why Don't Alcohol and Health Insurance Mix?

Although several factors are taken into account, health insurance costs are partially determined by estimating your overall risk for incurring health care expenses. This usually places the cheapest health insurance in the hands of people who are considered low risk by health insurance companies. Certain lifestyle factors may increase your risk and the likelihood that you will need medical care. Avoiding alcohol-related illnesses will help keep your insurance premiums down.

"We found that as alcoholic beverage consumption increased, Healthy Eating Index [a measure for how closely diets conform to the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans] scores decreased, an indication of poorer food choices," said one of the study's authors, Rosalind A. Breslow, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in NIAAA's Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research.

You may be aware that poor eating habits contribute to a wide range of health complications, including an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Add this to research that indicates that excessive alcohol intake has been linked to dementia, cancer, and stroke, and you kill your chances of obtaining cheap medical insurance if you have a variety of medical conditions.

Take Steps Toward Health

In addition to limiting alcohol consumption, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help find affordable life or health insurance rates. By maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol, incorporating exercise into your daily routine, and a balanced diet, you can improve both your health and your chances of getting the cheapest health insurance.

Lisa Tortorello