Looking Young When Growing Old

By P Chong                               5 April 2010

The title does suggest some ambiguities. It’s contradicting to expect looking young when chronologically age is catching up whether you like it or not. We can’t do anything with our chronological age, but physically we can help ourselves in the way we look as the years go by.

For a large part, our diet has much to do with our looks. Findings from a new British research show that excessive smoking & drinking, inactivity & poor diet can age you by as much as 12 years

Whitney Houston in her glorious years

Needless to say, if you are on drugs, you’ll go down the gutter even sooner. In this respect, all you need is to look at Whitney Houston – the once upon glamorous singing sensation. Today, she looks far from her glorious days.

Whitney Houston Hooked by Drugs

With my friends, I used to jokingly compliment the guys & the gals about “ . . . a man is as young as he feels, but a woman is as old as she looks. Fortunately, for the woman like good wine she mellows with the years.” Appearance is an asset & so very important for a woman, especially if she is in public light.

In many ways, women have the advantage over men when it comes to looking good & young. They can paint their lips, powder & enhance their faces, eye-shadows, hair-style & colours and a host of beauty aids & accessories – all contributing towards the coffer of the cosmetic companies. Of course, there is their further recourse to plastic surgery, which incidentally has also been attracting some of the masculine gender.

Generally, we can look a lot better with adopting a healthier lifestyle – good diet, exercise & good habits. In that British study, all 314 candidates had all the four unhealthy behaviours of smoking, drinking, inactivity & poor diet. Among them: 91 died during the study (29%). Among the 387 healthiest candidates without the four bad habits, only 32 died (8%).

One lead researcher Elizabeth of the University of Oslo said: “The risky behaviours were: smoking tobacco; drowning more than three alcoholic drinks per day for men & more than two daily for women; getting less than two hours of physical activity per week; and eating fruits & vegetables few than three times daily.

These habits combined substantially increase the risk of death & make people who engaged in them seem 12 years older than people in the healthier group.” (Source: Archives of Internal Medicine).

The most common causes of death are heart disease & cancer, both related to unhealthy lifestyle.

June Stevens, a University of North Carolina public health researcher, said the results are in line with previous studies that examined the combined effects of health-related habits on longevity.

However, she said that the findings don’t mean that everyone who maintains a healthy lifestyle will live longer than those who don’t, but it will increase the odds.

We are what we eat.

Do we eat to live

Or live to eat

Seems to be the eternal question.


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