Friday, May 31, 2013

National Geographic predicts that lifespans of 120 years will become common

The May 2013 article of National Geographic offers a cover and story, “This Baby will Live to Be 120”, by Stephen S. Hall, photography by Fritz Hoffmann.

The article offers many examples of long-lived seniors now, and identifies a few groups whose genes favor longevity  These include Ashkenazi Jews, older Amish, and native people in Ecuador with Laron Syndrome, which makes them short.

Oprah Winfrey has documented people living in “Blue Zones”, including one in the California Central Valley, where people live very long.  Some favorable factors include eating natural (unprocessed) foods and strong social ties and extended families, with a lot of “eusociality” and “we-ness”.  Hyperinividualism may be good for cultural achievement, the sciences and the arts, but not for longevity.
A typical summary on a longevity-oriented site is here

Longevity would require that adults be willing to dedicate themselves to goals of other family members as well as their own, much more than is likely for many people today. 

My own mother lived to be 97.  I felt disturbed when people suggested to me that my most important goal should be to see her live to be 100.  What about me?  That’s the rub.

I had reviewed Barbara Walter’s “Live to Be 150” special on April 1, 2008 on the TV blog.  

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