Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The Island Where People Forget to Die
Old 10-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
The Island Where People Forget to Die

Interesting NYT article about a Greek island where the population has extraordinary longevity:

"The big aha for me, having studied populations of the long-lived for nearly a decade, is how the factors that encourage longevity reinforce one another over the long term. For people to adopt a healthful lifestyle, I have become convinced, they need to live in an ecosystem, so to speak, that makes it possible. As soon as you take culture, belonging, purpose or religion out of the picture, the foundation for long healthy lives collapses. The power of such an environment lies in the mutually reinforcing relationships among lots of small nudges and default choices. Thereís no silver bullet to keep death and the diseases of old age at bay. If thereís anything close to a secret, itís silver buckshot."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/ma...general&src=me

omni
__________________

__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-24-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,950
Absolutely fascinating article, thank you!

I read and enjoyed every word of it. One of many passages that interested me was the same one you quoted,
Quote:
For people to adopt a healthful lifestyle, I have become convinced, they need to live in an ecosystem, so to speak, that makes it possible. As soon as you take culture, belonging, purpose or religion out of the picture, the foundation for long healthy lives collapses. The power of such an environment lies in the mutually reinforcing relationships among lot of small nudges and default choices. There’s no silver bullet to keep death and the diseases of old age at bay. If there’s anything close to a secret, it’s silver buckshot.
I am not religious, and have never felt like I belonged anywhere. New Orleans has quite a culture, especially among seniors. Hmmm. Maybe I should take that SS earlier. (Just kidding! )
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
ratto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 225
Thanks for sharing this wonderful article! Here is the quote I find I couldn't agree more:
Quote:
We may not have money for luxuries, but we will have food on the table and still have fun with family and friends. We may not be in a hurry to get work done during the day, so we work into the night. At the end of the day, we don’t go home to sit on the couch.
I bet their lifestyle doesn't require them to have iphones, cables, facebook and so many other consumer driven technology innovations in our modern life.
__________________
ratto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,453
When I first saw "Greek Island" being mentioned, I thought to myself that it was smart for me to learn to make my own gyro meat. All I would need now is a case of ouzo to be set.

Alas, that is not the diet of the Ikarians. See the following.
Their diet was also typical: a breakfast of goat’s milk, wine, sage tea or coffee, honey and bread. Lunch was almost always beans (lentils, garbanzos), potatoes, greens (fennel, dandelion or a spinachlike green called horta) and whatever seasonal vegetables their garden produced; dinner was bread and goat’s milk...

... the Ikarians’ diet, like that of others around the Mediterranean, was rich in olive oil and vegetables, low in dairy (except goat’s milk) and meat products, and also included moderate amounts of alcohol. It emphasized homegrown potatoes, beans (garbanzo, black-eyed peas and lentils), wild greens and locally produced goat milk and honey...

... consumed about six times as many beans a day as Americans, ate fish twice a week and meat five times a month, drank on average two to three cups of coffee a day and took in about a quarter as much refined sugar — the elderly did not like soda. She also discovered they were consuming high levels of olive oil along with two to four glasses of wine a day...
Oh well. I don't drink soda, but knock down the same amount of coffee and wine, and also eat a lot of veggie. That hopefully cancels out some bad effects of my love of meats.

And then, the sex life of these islanders was discussed. Oh la la!
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,817
Interesting.

I'm wondering how much is genetics *combined with* lifestyle/diet. In other words - neither would explain the longevity on its own.

I've done a lot of reading on some genetic lines in remote parts of Sicily and in small towns in northern Italy. People have high overall cholesterol - but almost no heart disease. Since my husband is Sicilian this was of particular interest to me.

But the genetic variation isn't enough - it has to be combined with lifestyle and diet.

Like the town in Ikaria, my husband has 2nd and 3rd cousins that are very long lived, and lead a lifestyle, now that they're retired, where they live off the land (and sea) to a large extent, eat a plant/herb based diet. The lifestyle of tending the gardens, on the slopes of Mt. Etna, keeps them fit. The pace is slow, but steady.

My husband will be pleased to read that napping appears to be one of the contributing factors... he's a big fan of the afternoon nap.
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Absolutely fascinating article, thank you!

I read and enjoyed every word of it. One of many passages that interested me was the same one you quoted,

I am not religious, and have never felt like I belonged anywhere. New Orleans has quite a culture, especially among seniors. Hmmm. Maybe I should take that SS earlier. (Just kidding! )
After 30 years in New Oleans I did - take early SS that is. I never let life intrude on a chance to party.

heh heh heh - Up north down to nuts and twigs, exercise and live on a hill - a high hill.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,556
I really enjoyed this article also. Thanks for posting. Note to self: eat more vegetables and exercise more. I am hoping that drinking beer is the equivalent of drinking the wine.
__________________
Dreamer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 07:53 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JoeWras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,531
I fret over the amount of olive oil I put on my salad. Not anymore, I'm going to increase it!

...

The thing that struck me in the article was about the village going dead at certain times, so everyone could nap, relax, or whatever. No so in our world. It is 24/7. Everyone needs to be accessible at all times.

Also, it mentions always having a meal with others. I've lost that at w*rk as the day has become fractured with meetings that must be set during lunch due to time zone constraints on worldly attendance.
__________________
JoeWras is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,453
I remember reading somewhere believers who even drink several tablespoons of olive oil a day as a supplement!

The problem is that I also read on the Web recently that a lot of olive oil sold is fake! They would take some vegetable oil and add the right flavor to it, and sell it as EVOO. It would make me feel like a fool that I might have paid extra for something that I could not tell was fake.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 388
Pretty much a junk article, although entertaining. The author frequently refers to "studies" that he has done on this group or that. Whatever those "studies" were, they were not scientific studies though, since the author is not a scientist, but a cyclist and film producer.

The article does not refer to scientific studies at all. It does imply claims, such as the longevity benefits of antioxidants, that are unproven.
__________________
Khufu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 09:52 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
When I first saw "Greek Island" being mentioned, I thought to myself that it was smart for me to learn to make my own gyro meat. All I would need now is a case of ouzo to be set.

...And then, the sex life of these islanders was discussed. Oh la la!
Uh oh...ouzo was mentioned. Opa!
Beware, it goes down nicely for 2-3 shots and then whacks you right in the head.

I have been trying to return to the "college diet" I used to follow. I could buy an entire brown paper bag of veggies from local farms for $1 in the fall when I returned to college. Meat was an occasional treat, much like ice cream or pizza. I was not being a conscious vegetarian. My money just went further. I could still buy those fresh veggies during the winter, as most of the farms had root cellars. Now I'm growing my own on a modest scale.

I also read the entire article. Fabulous piece!

I often wonder if living out here in the country contributes to my "younger" appearance (people I know often remark about this) than fits my chronological age. I do consume a fair amount of olive oil. Wine is a favorite beverage in the evening. My Italian-born lady doctor told me to increase both in my diet. Smart lady!

Now about that sex part....Opa!
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 10:38 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,453
I have not had ouzo per se, but guess that it is similar to French pastis, of which I do have a bottle in my cabinet.

Talk about fake olive oil, I do not remember the article I read, but here's a similar one: Your Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Is Fake | Food Renegade. They put chlorophyll into regular vegetable oil and call it EVOO! Even the Italians got fooled.

Some excerpts:
Did you know that the Mob makes money hand over fist by selling you fake olive oil?... 70% of the extra virgin olive oil sold is adulterated — cut with cheaper oils. Apparently, the mob’s been at it so long, that even most so-called “experts” can’t tell a real olive oil from a fake olive oil based on taste alone.

... more than 400 Italian police officers conducted a lengthy investigation dubbed “Operation Golden Oil” which led to the arrest of 23 people and the confiscation of 85 farms...

... more than 40 additional people were arrested for for adding chlorophyll to sunflower and soybean oil and selling it as extra virgin olive oil, both in Italy and abroad.

... Australian government’s standards agency ... authentication tests allow oils to be certified pure “extra-virgin olive oil.” Thus far in 2012, every imported brand of extra-virgin olive oil has failed the test to gain certification!

... researchers at UC Davis tested 124 different samples from eight major brands of extra-virgin olive oil. More than seventy percent of the imported oils failed.

So, in order to get health benefits from olive oil, I guess we need to move to somewhere in the Mediterranean region and press our own olives.

PS. Talk about "youth appearance", my wife and I both look young. But sadly, that has nothing to do with longevity. My father died in his early 70s, and he looked young when he died!
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
So, in order to get health benefits from olive oil, I guess we need to move to somewhere in the Mediterranean region and press our own olives.
I get California olive oil (direct from the grower). Presumably out of the mob's reach.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 10:58 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,453
Are you sure that you are outside of the reach of the long arm of the mob?

Oops. They may be tracking me down as I post this.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 08:45 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Huston55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: The Bay Area
Posts: 1,804
Great article Omni!

Reminds me of the small seaside villages we visited 20+ yrs ago on a sailing trip to the Ionian side of Greece.

Reading about this lifestyle is very seductive but, it makes me wonder if I've been ruined for it by living in such fast paced, developed locales my entire life.
__________________
You may be whatever you resolve to be.
Huston55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 01:02 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
antmary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 542
Fascinating article. Thank you! I liked the tea mentioned - sage, rosemary, and mint. I can just step outside and pick those.

But, there is something about jovial social events and feeling the love that is very healing. I now love my naps even more!
__________________
antmary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
GSMAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: League City
Posts: 65
Thanks for posting! Good read until this, "Studies have linked early retirement among some workers in industrialized economies to reduced life expectancy." Oh well, I will take my chances!
__________________
GSMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 04:33 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
Retch The Grate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Mountain View
Posts: 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
I get California olive oil (direct from the grower). Presumably out of the mob's reach.
I buy California olive oil as well, on the assumption that imported olive oil is potentially fake.
__________________
Retch The Grate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 10:23 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,152
Maybe I missed it when I read the article the other day, but what is the state of modern medical care for those living on the island?

I think in previous studies the "Mediterranean" diet was shown to be the most healthy.

I guess this could all still fit into Gary Taubes thesis that the main thing is to avoid refined sugar (islanders at only 1/4 the consumption of Americans).

Other longevity studies among otherwise equal populations have shown a positive outlook on life and social networks are the most important factor.

It seems difficult to draw conclusions from this article but at the same time it seems to anecdotally fit in with a lot of previous longevity data.
__________________

__________________
kramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:02 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.