You don’t need to be a goody-2-shoes to join the 100 club

100 birthday partyIf you’re struggling to do the right thing when it comes to managing your health, then the results of this study from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will come as a slap in the face.

The researchers discovered folks in this prestigious club of people who have celebrated approx 100 or more birthdays, are no more virtuous than the rest of us, when it comes to health habits.

They pigged out, drank, smoked and sat on the couch more than they should have, but were dealt some really good genes, which helped them to survive.

Interviews with 100 club members

The researchers studied 477 Ashkenazi Jews, aged between 95 and 112 years, who were living independently.

The people in the study were asked about their lifestyle thirty years earlier, when they were in their seventies.

It was hypothesized that what they were doing at seventy would be pretty much represent their overall life pattern.

The list of health habits investigated included

  • weight
  • height
  • patterns of alcohol consumption
  • smoking habits
  • physical activity
  • diet in terms of calories, fat and salt consumed

“Interviews” with the dearly departed

The researchers needed to find out what people who didn’t make it into the 100 club were doing in the 1970s, since digging them up from the grave was not an option, they turned to data which had been collected at that time.

They poured over the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES 1) data.

Sticking around forever unrelated to health habits

Members of the 100 club did not do anything special in terms of their health habits, they were just like everyone else.

They did come in marginally “thinner” but certainly weren’t skinny bean poles. Only 4.5 percent of male centenarians were obese vs. 12.1 percent of the early departers; and for women, 9.6 percent of centenarians were obese versus 16.2 percent.

Actually in the exercise stat, they performed worse…… Only 43 % of the long-lived guys engaged in regular physical exercise, compared with 57 % of the “short”-lived gentleman. Eish !

If you want to live forever….

Choose your parents wisely !

The researchers are hunting through the genomes of these exceptionally healthy oldies looking for clues about which genes are worth having !

100 clubbers thoughts on longevity

Many 100 clubbers acknowledged good genes was probably a big driver in their loooooooooooong lives, 33 % reported a history of family longevity.

But many felt it took more than good genes to have a really good innings , they also attributed it to

  • high levels of physical activity (20 %)
  • living with a positive attitude (19 %)
  • busy and/or active lives (12 %)
  • laying off the cigarettes and alcohol (15 %)
  • good luck (8 %)
  • religion and spirituality (6 %)

Your gene package ?

If you’re sporting an inferior gene package, you probably need to worry about you health habits.

Focus your efforts on sorting out the 7 Big Spoons™ to get the most out of the gene package you’ve been dealt.

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion
Lifestyle Factors of People with Exceptional Longevity  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2011) 59(8):1509-1512. Swapnil N. Rajpathak, Yingheng Liu, Orit Ben-David, Saritha Reddy, Gil Atzmon, Jill Crandall, Nir Barzilai


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Further reading

stressed out baby mutant man stuck in bed
 Are you passing on your stress to your kids ?  Do you have a superpower hidden in your genes ? You can expect to live longer but the going might not be so good

Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..

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