DIET AND LIFE-STYLE CHOICES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE
Perhaps it is just a sign that I’m getting older, but recently longevity interests me more and more! In this TED talk, National Geographic writer and author of the book “Blue Zones,” Dan Buettner talks about three communities where people live much longer than the average in the U.S. The first is in the highlands of the Italian island of Sardinia where the elderly are held in high regard. The second is in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa, Japan where people have one-sixth the rate of cardio-vascular disease that we do. The third is actually in the U.S., the Loma Linda community of Seventh Day Adventists in Southern California where men live on average 11 years longer then other American men. These communities have much in common, a largely plant-based diet for one thing. Exercise, particularly walking, tends to be built into their lives. Family and especially, friendship come first. One circle of five women friends in Okinawa have known each other for 97 years, and their average age is 102. They stay active, retirement is mostly unknown. One 97-year old man in the Loma Linda community still performs 20 open-heart surgeries a month. Also important is knowing why you are alive: having a reason to get up in the morning. It’s an inspiring talk which covers some of the same territory as John Robbins does in, “Healthy at 100,” a book I’ll discuss in a later post.