Tuesday, July 8, 2014

People Who Live to be 100 While Eating Junk Food

We've all heard the stories about people who live to be 100 while eating junk food, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. But here are a few things to consider about these stories:
  • The Stress Factor: The oldest living person on record is a woman named Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122. Calmet lived a low-stress life, marrying a wealthy man when she was 21 years old, never having to worry about money throughout her life. Instead, she spent most of her time enjoying her favorite activities such as cycling, swimming and laughing (Link).
  • The Exercise Factor: If somebody lives to an old age on a junk food diet, it is important to also look at their lifestyle. More often than not, people who live to 100 have lived active, not idle lives. One large Swedish study found that simply walking or swimming regularly can add up to two years to your life (Link). 
  • The Duration Factor: For a person who lives to an old age when eating an unhealthy diet, it is important to consider, when did this person's unhealthy lifestyle begin? Most traditional cultures include enjoying family meals together rather than hitting up McDonald's every day. Fast food culture is a relatively new phenomenon, and it is very possible that this person didn't adopt an unhealthy diet until later in life.
  • The Luck Factor: While some people can walk across a mine field without stepping on a mine, these people are generally the exception to the rule. National Geographic published an in depth study called the "Blue Zones", which focused on the longest living cultures in the world. All of these cultures ate mostly unprocessed, plant based foods. Also, the oldest living Americans happen to be Seventh Day Adventist vegetarians, outliving other Americans by an average of 7.3 years for men and 4.4 years for women (Link).

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