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Thread: life expectancy

  1. #1
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default life expectancy

    I was thinking today about the fact that humans' life expectancy has risen greatly over the past years. Obviously, medical science plays a large role in this but diet must count too. if this is the case, do you think life expectancy will lower when the generation brought up on junk food, saturated fats and not much exercise reaches "old age"?
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
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  2. #2
    Tiggerwoo
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    Default Re: life expectancy

    Yes I believe a large proportion of todays youth will probably see themselves in hospital with heart probs, cancer, or even premature death probably in their forties onwards. Today's society sees kids at home not getting the exercise that kids used to, getting car lifts to school instead of walking, sitting at home playing computer games and watching tv all night on a diet full of processed fatty junk. Today's society is just full of walking timebombs waiting to happen.

  3. #3
    75% Chickpea Cumin's Avatar
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    Default Re: life expectancy

    I'd say the rise will level out, and then hopefully rise gently again. All of the media hype about healthy diets, teenage obesity and organic food must produce some good effect.
    Mind you, the pessimists among you will probably say that the good effects will be cancelled out by the still increasing sales of convenience foods, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed! We can't carry on like this, even the economics of public health care will fail soon and force people to do something.
    I'm predicting health insurance companies will start to exclude more and more diet related problems for people that persist on unheathy lifestyles. It will come down to money in the end..

    I know I'm speaking largely for UK, europe and the US so please forgive me if you feel this doesn't apply to your (probably much healthier) country.
    How good it is to be well-fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time. Henry J. Heimlich

  4. #4
    akaredarcher's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: life expectancy

    In regards to life expectancy I think that 'yes' we will see decreased life expectancy in people who live on diets such as those you described. Medical breakthroughs can only do so much.

    Diet is a contributing factor in many diseases & conditions including heart disease, type II (or non-insulin dependent) diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, accelerated tooth decay & gum disease & anaemia to name just a few. There are certainly reports of 20 year old women with osteoporosis, 30 year olds having heart attacks, & even 12 year olds showing signs of 'pre-diabetes'. I'm not saying that it's impossible for vegans to get these conditions though. I'm just saying that those on high-fat, high-simple-sugar diets that include alot of processed & convenience foods have greatly increased chances of facing an early grave (or at the very least, a significant decrease in their quality of life in their remaining years, however many they should happen to have). I strongly believe that veganism will provide me with the greatest opportunity to live a long & healthy life.

    Diana
    akaredarcher
    If I didn't say it, don't assume it.

  5. #5
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: life expectancy

    I haven't checked his sources, or compared them with other sources, but here's what John Robbins writes about life expectancy in Diet For A New America:

    he Lowest and Highest Life Expectancies in the World

    After World War II, scientists began for the first time to compile comprehensive statistics correlating the diet-styles and health of all the populations in the world.

    One fact that emerged consistently was the strong correlation between heavy flesh-eating and short life expectancy. The Eskimos, the Laplanders, the Greenlanders, and the Russian Kurgi tribes stood out as the populations with the highest animal flesh consumption in the world -- and also as among the populations with the lowest life expectancies, often only about 30 years.

    It was found, further, that this was not due to the severity of their climates alone. Other peoples, living in harsh conditions, but subsisting with little or no animal flesh, had some of the highest life expectancies in the world. World health statistics found, for example, that an unusually large number of the Russian Caucasians, the Yucatan Indians, the East Indian Todas and the Pakistan Hunzakuts have life expectancies of 90 to 100 years.

    The United States has the most sophisticated medical technology in the world, and one of the most temperate of climates. One of the highest consumers of meat and animal products in the world, it also has one of the lowest life expectancies of industrialized nations.

    The cultures with the very longest life spans in the world are the Vilcambas, who reside in the Andes of Ecuador; the Abkhasians, who live on the Black Sea in the USSR; and the Hunzas, who live in the Himalayas of Northern Pakistan. Researchers discovered a "striking similarity" in the diets of these groups, scattered though they are in different parts of the planet. All three are either totally vegetarian or close to it.

    Particularly striking to researchers who have visited these cultures is that the people not only live so long, but that they enjoy full, active lives through their many years, and show no signs of the many degenerative diseases that afflict the elderly in our culture.

    "They work and play at 80 and beyond; most of those who reach their 100th birthday continue to be active, and retirement is unheard of. The absence of (excess protein) in their diets engenders slower growth and slim, compact body frames. With age, wisdom accumulates, but physical degeneration is limited so the senior citizens of these remote societies have something unique to contribute to the lives of others. They are revered."

  6. #6
    Windfall
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    Default Re: life expectancy

    Quote Korn View Post
    I haven't checked his sources, or compared them with other sources, but here's what John Robbins writes about life expectancy in Diet For A New America:

    "One fact that emerged consistently was the strong correlation between heavy flesh-eating and short life expectancy. The Eskimos, the Laplanders, the Greenlanders, and the Russian Kurgi tribes stood out as the populations with the highest animal flesh consumption in the world -- and also as among the populations with the lowest life expectancies, often only about 30 years."


    O noes...Laplanders... I have some Lapland blood! *scared*

  7. #7
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: life expectancy




    Some more stuff about life expectancy:

    Do Primitive Peoples Really Live Longer?
    No. For example, Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population. 1

    Similar statistics are available for the high meat-consuming Maasai in Kenya. They eat a diet high in wild hunted meats and have the worst life expectancy in the modern world. Life expectancy is 45 years for women and 42 years for men. African researchers report that, historically, Maasai rarely lived beyond age 60. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan Maasai show that they have a 50% chance of dying before the age of 59
    . 2

    We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains. By taking advantage of the year-round availability of high-quality plant foods, we have a unique opportunity to live both healthier and longer than ever before in human history.
    1. Iburg KM, Bronnum-Hansen H, Bjerregaard P. Health expectancy in Greenland. Scand J Public Health 2001;29(1):5-12. Choinere R. Mortality among the Baffin Inuit in the mid-80s. Arctive Med Res 1992;51 (2):87-93.

    2. http://www.kenya.za.net/maasai-cycles-of-life.html
    www.who.int/countries/Ken/en/

    UPDATE: The above links are dead, refer to this link: http://www.who.int/countries/ken/en/

    Are the Inuit Healthy?
    The Inuit, know anything about them? Personally, I don’t know much, just that they’re Eskimos. So, ever the good student, I decided to do a little Wikipedia search. Sure enough I turned up some interesting information. Here’s the introduction:
    Inuit (Inuktitut syllabics, singular Inuk) is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic coasts of Siberia, Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, Labrador, and Greenland. Until fairly recent times, there has been a remarkable homogeneity in the culture throughout this area, which traditionally relied on fish, sea mammals, and land animals for food, heat, light, clothing, tools, and shelter. Their language, sometimes incorrectly called Inuktitut, is grouped under Inuit language or Eskimo-Aleut languages.
    Okay, if animal foods are an integral part of Inuit society, then I’ve got a question. How is their health? What’s the answer? Well, that depends on who you ask. For example, this report was emailed to me by a reader. According to Margaret Munro of The Vancouver Sun a new study links the Inuit’s game rich diet to “remarkable” protection against heart disease and cancer. Take a look:
    While accelerating environmental and social meltdown is putting huge stress on Arctic communities, the study of almost 1,000 Inuit in northern Quebec shows the diet rich in game continues to offer remarkable protection, says lead researcher Dr. Eric Dewailly of Laval University.


    "The study shows that they still have huge benefit and protection," says Dewailly. He and his colleagues presented the results of the on-going study here yesterday at the annual scientific meeting of ArcticNet, a northern research consortium.
    Now this report is troubling, because if you remember from a previous post the Inuit, and other primitive people, aren’t exactly tipping the life-expectancy scale. More on that from Do Primitive Peoples Really Live Longer:
    Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.1…


    …We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains. By taking advantage of the year-round availability of high-quality plant foods, we have a unique opportunity to live both healthier and longer than ever before in human history.
    So what’s the deal with this report? Or more specifically, is the study flawed? I don’t know, but here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about it:
    The research did not show that the Inuits live a long time or are healthy. The statements in the article made conclusions not supported by the research. The research merely was tracking the declining health of the Inuits since the spread of processed junk food among younger people. We can’t look to this group as an example of long-lived healthy people.
    Now for all my fellow nerds out there, Dr. Fuhrman also recommended checking out John Robbins’s book Healthy at 100. In it he lists the world’s healthiest people, and surprise-surprise the Inuit didn’t make the cut. From the online table of contents, here is the list:
    1. Abkhasia: Ancients of the Caucasus
    Where people are healthier at ninety than most of us are at middle age


    2. Vilcabamba: The Valley of Eternal Youth
    Where heart disease and dementia do not exist

    3. Hunza: A People Who Dance in Their Nineties
    Where cancer, diabetes, and asthma are unknown

    4. The Centenarians of Okinawa
    Where more people live to 100 than anywhere else in the world
    1. Iburg KM, Bronnum-Hansen H, Bjerregaard P. Health expectancy in Greenland. Scand J Public Health 2001;29(1):5-12. Choinere R. Mortality among the Baffin Inuit in the mid-80s. Arctive Med Res 1992;51 (2):87-93.

    2. http://www.kenya.za.net/maasai-cycles-of-life.html
    www.who.int/countries/Ken/en/

    UPDATE: The above links are dead, refer to this link: http://www.who.int/countries/ken/en/

  8. #8
    Mahk
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    Default Re: life expectancy

    I think life expectancy is more related to simplicity of flag design rather than diet :


    Seriously though, although I have no doubt diet is a factor, other things like smoking and health care may be much more important. Perhaps the Inuits smoke heavily and even worse yet unfiltered cigarettes, who knows.

    edit to add: According to this they smoke at rates double that of general Canadians and also some cultures heat their homes with fires/oil with improper chimneys that coats the room (and the inhabitant's lungs) with soot over time. Their culture is I believe one of them.

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