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Study Reveals the Secret to Living 14 Extra Years
by Don Bennett, DAS

According to a seven year study that tracked 20,000 adults, ages 45 to 79, in the United Kingdom, to add an extra 14 years to your life, don't smoke, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, exercise regularly, and don't overdo the alcohol consumption. Study participants scored a point each for not smoking, regular physical activity, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and moderate alcohol intake. People who scored four points were four times less likely to die from a serious disease than those who scored no points, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge. Deaths from all causes were tracked, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases.

I want to touch upon two important aspects of this research.

First, it's interesting that the word "extra" was used. I realize that the study essentially compares people who live a healthier lifestyle relative to the average person, and that's how they came up with the 14 year figure. But it's a shame that these 14 years are considered "extra". It's kind'a like 72 is the norm but you can stick around to 86 if you live differently than the average person.

Whenever I talk about the subject of average life expectancy I always hear the, "But 72 is an improvement over 54 which is what the average life expectancy once was!" While this is true, to make a fair comparison you need to consider what the human life span is supposed to be, and what it probably was at one point, even though our record keeping doesn't go back that far.

All primates tend to live about seven times their "age of maturity", and since we're technically a primate, we should live to about 124. One-hundred-twenty-four?!!! Yep, but that's under ideal circumstances which we no longer have in western civilization thanks to the availability of labor-saving devices, McDonalds, insufficient sleep, toxins that didn't exist 100 years ago, and lifestyles that lend themselves to more stress than the occasional "hey, there's a lion over there!" So when we compare 124 to the present 72, the overall change has not been for the better.

And if that's not enough, when the Average Life Expectancy (ALE) starts to fall despite advances in modern medicine, something must be done so people don't start asking questions. Time magazine's January 21, 2002 issue contained the article, Can We Learn to Beat the Reaper? and this article said, "All the gains in length of life have been achieved by treating diseases that used to kill us in youth or, at best, in what we now consider middle years." I would have laughed if this wasn't such a serious issue (the programming of the population to believe things that aren't true). The four biggest reasons for today's "increased" life expectancy are: 1. Better sanitation; 2. The advent of refrigeration (no more spoiled food and deaths from botulism); 3. Life-prolonging treatments and drugs (but these deal with diseases and conditions, and while they may prolong life, they foster a lessened quality-of-life); and 4. The recalculation of the ALE (Average Life Expectancy).

At one time, the ALE included all deaths. If you died two days after being born, it was factored in. But when the ALE was found to be falling, something had to be done. After all, medical science was doing wondrous things, and there were new drugs appearing weekly, so the ALE couldn't be shown to be falling. So the powers-that-be decided to discard all deaths under one year of age when calculating the ALE. It doesn't take a mathematician to understand that when you take the lowest numbers (which in this case are really low) out of a list of numbers, the average number will be much higher. Then the media compared the ALE of ten years before this deception, to the new ALE, and behold... We're living longer! And the public assumes this is due to the medical/pharmaceutical industries. Why do they believe this? Well, just look at the above statement in Time magazine. Of course, the public never knew of the mathematic chicanery. If the media had compared the ALE one day before the change in the method of calculation to the day after the change, it would have looked like a miracle happened overnight.

The second thing I'd like to comment on is the "eat lots of fruit and vegetables". Many organizations report that one of the best things you can do to improve your health is to eat more fruits and vegetables and eat less of the other stuff, but the public doesn't hear this message. It's a shame that you hear more about how to stop perspiration or lower your high cholesterol than you hear about how to greatly improve your health so you don't need to use all these over-the-counter drugs, prescription meds, and treatments. If you were a diabetic, wouldn't you like to hear news stories about how to get rid of your diabetes rather than ads for the latest blood sugar monitor or for automatic home delivery of your diabetes supplies? I would. But fortunately I know how to give myself the BEST odds of avoiding diabetes and the other degenerative diseases that are partly responsible for today's abnormally low (but average) life expectancy. I say "partly" because the other factor is the tons of misinformation and misleading information that have people thinking that if you reached 72, you did great! How about reaching 92, and more importantly being in better shape than those reaching only 72. Now THAT'S what I call an improvement.

Don Bennett is a Disease Avoidance Specialist, author, lecturer, and the Director of the Health 101 Institute. Don's new book, How to Have the BEST Odds of Avoiding Degenerative Disease is available at health101.org/book

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