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Old 12-07-2008, 11:13 AM   #21
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After having lived in Okinawa for 5 years (1999-2004), I can vouch that the old diet of Okinawa was great for keeping them alive longer. But....if the things I have read in recent years is accurate (I do not believe all I read), they no longer are living as long as they did. The number of McD's etc and heaven forbid.......KFC....they absolutely love KFC for some reason..... their crappy fat and junk food intake has increased so much that they were starting to slide down the scale fast. One of the local politicians went on a fairly publicised diet about a year before I left....admitted he had gained tons of weight from eating the greasy food he loved....lost a bunch of weight going back to what he used to eat. Basic rule....on the whole Americans don't exercise very much (I do)....and eat tons of crap (unfortunately, I also do). I also am a school teacher who see/hears/ all the complaints.....and yes...I am even a PE teacher. Soon to get out of schools in another year or two....just can't see things working when everybody makes excuses for themselves.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:38 AM   #22
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We just need to set up our society like the movie "Logons Run". All the guess work would go away on how much to save for retirement. Health care issue would be resolved, Social Security would be solved. Life would be Sweet! Well, until the little white crystal turns red and you have to be assimulated.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:43 AM   #23
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Countries With Oldest Population, Top Countries With Oldest Population, World Top Ten Countries With Oldest Population in the World

Can anyone guess what these countries have that allows their aged to grow so old? What are we missing in the U.S.
Yeah. Their young adults don't have many children, and there is limited immigration.

What we are earnestly discussing here is nothing more than an artifact of low population birth rates.

Ha
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:15 PM   #24
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My in laws are in their mid 80s. My FIL still drives and they both handle all the yard work. It is all about quality I guess. Wouldn't be much fun being ill or not being able to do anything for yourself.

They really did take care of themselves. Both are reasonably active and neither smokes or drinks. Both are cancer survivors. Im sure luck plays a big part in your quality of life at an older age.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:53 PM   #25
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This article from The Economist argues that improved health does not always make countries richer:

Health and wealth | The Economist

Mr Bleakley also argues that focusing on life expectancy may miss the point. Some health improvements may not lead to a longer life, but may nonetheless make people more productive.

Policies that improve health without affecting the length of life may well be the ones that have a bigger economic pay-off, and a focus on life expectancy may miss this.
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:33 PM   #26
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Personal responsibility. Eat your steak then go out and exercise while ignoring those tasty ads
I do not grill my steaks anymore. Pan fry to sear, then finish in the oven. Then, a bit of cheap cognac to deglaze the pan ("flambé"), then a bit of cream added, topped with some butter and freshly ground pepper, to make the sauce.

Hmmm. How many miles I need to walk to burn that off?

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After having lived in Okinawa for 5 years (1999-2004), I can vouch that the old diet of Okinawa was great for keeping them alive longer. But....if the things I have read in recent years is accurate (I do not believe all I read), they no longer are living as long as they did. The number of McD's etc and heaven forbid.......KFC....they absolutely love KFC for some reason..... their crappy fat and junk food intake has increased so much that they were starting to slide down the scale fast.
They are DOOMED. I only eat at those places a couple of times a year, when on domestic driving trips.

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Im sure luck plays a big part in your quality of life at an older age.
My father and I were of the same built, BMI of 24, waist being half of height. In other words, people would think that we were fit.

He did not smoke, ate no junk food, exercised by gardening. In the 10 years after his retirement at 65, his travel was limited by his dialysis treatment. He died at the age of 75. In his desolation, he had lamented that life wasn't fair.

Still trying to do what I can to maintain my health. However, I am also preparing myself to accept whatever fate that my genes dictate.

It really influenced my decision to retire early, though I did not hate my job that bad.

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This article from The Economist argues that improved health does not always make countries richer:

Health and wealth | The Economist

Mr Bleakley also argues that focusing on life expectancy may miss the point. Some health improvements may not lead to a longer life, but may nonetheless make people more productive.

Policies that improve health without affecting the length of life may well be the ones that have a bigger economic pay-off, and a focus on life expectancy may miss this.

The reverse side of this coin is the health care cost of certain "sins".

For example, my former mentor, a non-smoker, made an argument that lung cancer patients die so quickly that they would not tax the health care system.

Compared to my father's case, I would have to agree.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:08 PM   #27
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For example, my former mentor, a non-smoker, made an argument that lung cancer patients die so quickly that they would not tax the health care system.
My mom lived 4 years after her diagnosis of lung cancer. She had a complicated operation to remove tumors, then extensive radiation, then another operation. Not sure how much all that cost but I'll guess around 300K. Multiply by how many patients?

Oh well, with our economic future, bankrupt Medicare won't be anxious to pay for many lung cancer operations. I used to smoke.l Hope I can get a pass on lung cancer from the Grand Poobah.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:22 PM   #28
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Looking at my own family history, living longer isn't necessarily something to look forward to.

Grandmother 1: Broke both hips in her seventies resulting in hip replacement surgery. She became pretty much housebound soon after. Started having signs of dementia in her early eighties and lost most mobility at 83. She died at 85. The last year of her life was so horrible that when she died I didn't shed a tear. I knew that wherever she went, it had to be an improvement compared to the life she had in that last year.
Grandmother 2: started having dementia around age 70. She died after a few torturous years, not being able to talk coherently and unable to recognize members of her own family. She didn't seem to suffer physically, but from the few moments of lucidity she had, I think that she was aware of her condition.
Grandfather 1: Died at 90. He was fully functional until age 85. He started to decline physically after that and died after months of horrible pain. He kept a sharp mind until the end though.
Grandfather 2: Died the youngest of all. He just dropped to the kitchen floor one morning while drinking his coffee and died instantly. He was perfectly fine physically and mentally until the end.

Soooooo, if only the good Lord could give me the first 85 years of grandfather 1 and the death of grandfather 2, I would consider myself golden...
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #29
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Grandfather 2: Died the youngest of all. He just dropped to the kitchen floor one morning while drinking his coffee and died instantly. He was perfectly fine physically and mentally until the end.

Soooooo, if only the good Lord could give me the first 85 years of grandfather 1 and the death of grandfather 2, I would consider myself golden...
Did he eat lots of steak, followed by an after-dinner cognac and some smoke, never took BP measurements nor cholesterol tests? Maybe that's the ticket. How young was he when he died?

I have been thinking I would just shoot myself... Don't know if I will be able to do it.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:35 PM   #30
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Did he eat lots of steak, followed by an after-diner cognac and some smoke, never took BP measurements nor cholesterol tests? Maybe that's the ticket. How young was he when he died?

I have been thinking I would just shoot myself... Don't know if I will be able to do it.
He died at age 76. He didn't eat so much meat because it was expensive, but plenty of cheese, butter and fried food. He drank a glass of red wine with dinner and a little glass of brandy before going to bed in the winter, nothing too heavy though. He smoked moderately. He had plenty of physical exercise just doing his job. Very little stress. He was never sick and never went to the doctor's, even for routine checkups. When he died it was a real shock for everyone. He seemed solid like a rock until the end. I wish sometimes I could be as oblivious to my own health as he was oblivious to his. Today we know almost TOO MUCH. It can take the joy out of life if you let it creep up on you.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:04 PM   #31
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"I do not grill my steaks anymore. Pan fry to sear, then finish in the oven. Then, a bit of cheap cognac to deglaze the pan ("flambé"), then a bit of cream added, topped with some butter and freshly ground pepper, to make the sauce.

Hmmm. How many miles I need to walk to burn that off?"

Probably quite a bit. Grilling would be better than the searing and finishing in the oven. Adding the butter is bad. How far you exercise doesn't matter. Intensity is more important than distance.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:55 PM   #32
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Since FD's heritage is French, I felt like bringing up this story about Jeanne Calment, a Provence (Southern France) woman who died at the age of 122. Most remarkable was that she still rode a bicycle at the age of 100!

Jeanne Calment of Arles outlived the lawyer to whom she sold her apartment on a reverse mortgage, for a supposedly low monthly payment. The transaction was when she was already 90, and he was 47. She outlived him by one year, and he ended up paying 3 times what her apartment was worth.

She was a witty woman who cracked jokes, ate 2 lbs of chocolate a week, smoked until 119. Most notably, because of her wealth, she did not have to do physical labor for a living.

From a Web site:
Internationally, researchers are fascinated with Calment for both her longevity and her vitality. "She never did anything special to stay in good health," said French researcher Jean-Marie Robine. They attribute her longevity to her immunity to stress. She once said “If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.”.

Near the end, she was blind and near deaf, but always "alert as a hummingbird". Did I say she cracked one-liner jokes? No curmudgeon there. If you are curious, the Web would provide more details. Fellow forum members, do not lose your sense of humor, even if someone gets off topic.

Jeanne may be an exceptional case, but I know Provence has its share of healthy elderly people. Their food, their air? Their horrid mistral might actually have some benefits? Some say it's because they do a lot of physical work, being mostly farmers and vintners. Their wine and olive oil intake probably helps, just as it does the Italians. Their low stress life certainly can't hurt.

Notmuchlonger, these people do low intensity work, but of day long duration, I think. But then what do I know? It's probably all in the genes anyhow.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:52 PM   #33
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Yes, Jeanne Calmant was amazing. I remember watching a TV special for one of her later birthdays and I kinda expected her to look like the crypt keeper at that age. But she still looked pretty good and, amazingly, she could still carry an intelligible conversation!

A few other facts about her:
She met Vincent Van Gogh in person.
She was 14 when the Eiffel tower was inaugurated.
She retired... before WWII started.
She lived on her own until the age of 110.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:12 AM   #34
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People who live long often are healthy until near the end so have many more good years.
My grandmother never was sick until she was 94 when she had her appendix out. Then at 96 she fell and broke her leg. Until she broke her leg she lived alone in good health. She had to get the leg set then go to a nursing home a few days then assisted living since she lost muscle tone and couldn't walk after that. She wasn't sick, could eat whatever she wanted and had a nice place to live. She died just before she would have turned 99 just sitting in a wheel chair in the living room, no trauma just stopped being alive.
Mom is 82 and just moved in with my brother, she still drives and her health is reasonable for her age.
I am 60 and in perfect health so far and hope to live a long healthy life and dies peacefully like my grandmother.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:20 AM   #35
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Age 65. The first 15 years of ER were fun. I suppose the next 15 will be slower.

Men in the family tree went relatively young. Women longer. So I'd better continue to party while I can.

heh heh heh - did I mention living thirty years in New Orleans?
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:47 AM   #36
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Italy #1. Due to red wine and all the tomato base sauces they eat? Well that is what we have been lead to believe from various studies. I'm in on the red wine part.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:22 AM   #37
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Italy #1. Due to red wine and all the tomato base sauces they eat? Well that is what we have been lead to believe from various studies. I'm in on the red wine part.

I would take a guess that they also walk more. I have no scientific evidence to back this up though.
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