A conversation with the longevity expert about his new book 'Outlive'—and what makes life worth living in the first place.
“If you think about maternal and infant mortality, what it was like 200 years ago, it was insane.”
It’s vastly improved now that men are having babies. Men are better at most stuff.
“But the dream was basically that I was trying to catch eggs that were being dropped from a roof three or four stories up. I had a padded basket, so as long as the egg would hit the basket, I was fine. But invariably the eggs would come down at too great a frequency, or I simply couldn’t get to them in time. Invariably, they would hit the ground.”
This dream is so much more terrifying now that Joe Biden has made eggs cost $25.
My friend, Kim Witczak, would be a great follow up interview. She has worked for 19 years as an advocate for drug safety. I love this quote from her; “Sickness used to happen to you. Now we live in a world where it’s being sold to us.” The US and New Zealand are the only two developed nations that allow direct pharmaceutical to consumer marketing (ex drug commercials on tv). www.kimwitczak.com
Funny. At least to me. Not one mention of one's relationship with G-d. After all, life is G-d's most precious gift. One should have G-d in one's life because it keeps you humble and you see life with a broader perspective.6
As my father said on his 99th birthday, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." I like best Geroge Carlin's observations about healthy living: "Perfect health is just the slowest way to die"; and "I pity the guy that regularly exercises, doesn't smoke, drink alcohol, or carouse with women. Someday he is going to be lying in a hospital bed dying of nothing."
What was new in this discussion? I kept waiting for some revelation. Never came.
And then there's Biden.....way past his own expiration date, but still bumbling and stumbling, snarling that we're all racists and white supremacists and afflicting decent, hard working Americans with piss-poor lives, regardless of our own efforts to live better, happier and healthier days.
Thank you Bari, and Dr. Attia. I enjoyed the article - many good points.
I hate podcasts. I want to READ for information, not listen to someone stumbling around in conversational mode. It's inefficient.
Relationships, spending time outside in nature, weight bearing exercise, sleep are critical to quality of life. What’s the one thing interfering with all of them? Devices. Just saying.
Just another "what you should do" charlatan. He has no idea how or why we can or should live longer. Worse, he has no concept of the effect of genetics in determining our health or longevity. Finally, America is not one country, but two. 75% is Sweden or Japan with pretty good health and astounding longevity. The other 25% is Bangladesh. Do we have the honesty and courage to face the dichotomy?
Good discussion which reinforces my own experience. Having goals and purpose keeps me going. (79 and have several long-term goals, including writing a book)
I am mis-reading this? Did he actually say "For example, let’s say you’re 25 and you have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, bad lipids, anything like that—none of that is going to matter in the next ten years. There is nothing you can do." There is a lot you can do 1) to reverse T2, high blood pressure, bad lipid, etc 2) and to prevent these conditions. All of those conditions are caused by food - sugar, carbs, seed oils, ultra-processed foods.
We can do so much of this on our own (eat fresh, walk more, smaller portions. Live like a European.)
But some stuff needs government action. Mine:
1. Ban advertising of prescription drugs on TV.
2. Food stamps cannot be used for snacks, or anything with high fructose corn syrup or preservatives. Only eligible liquids are milk and 100% juices. Buy fresh, or real food (frozen ok)only.
3. Gym class and recess cannot be eliminated from school curricula.
4. Build more pedestrian and bike lanes.
The best book about preventing Heart Disease (and Dr Roberts is still practicing) was written by Drs. Stephen Sinatra and James Roberts: Reverse Heart Disease Now. https://www.amazon.com/Reverse-Heart-Disease-Now-Cardiovascular/dp/0470228784
The very title of this article gives me a feel for the way the generations are aging. The kids have realised they aren't going to live forever! Welcome to my world.
I remember going to a continuing medical education lecture, and hearing this remark (possibly made up for laughs, but the essence is true:
"If you eat the right foods in the right amounts, exercise hard, don't smoke, don't drink and don't take up skydiving, you will gain an average of four years of extra life, and there is a 70% chance you will spend those extra years in a nursing home."
A sobering thought, or perhaps I should rephrase that after I pour myself another drink....
Covid itself certainly contributed to Americans’ recent decline in longevity, but another reason why we have continued that decline I believe relates to Dr. Attia’s comments about living with anger. In the past few years, more so than previously, we as a society have just gotten more angry.
Our politics have become even more divisive, with people seeing those with opposing views as the enemy, out to destroy our way of life. Identity politics reduces us to single prime attributes and tells us that we either are fated to be oppressed or even unwittingly to be an oppressor. Grievances weigh on us, separate us from others, severing old connections and preventing new ones. As much as people have protested their grievance du jour, there still is a sense of having no agency, no ability to change anything. Our children are being encouraged to be warriors for social justice while at the same time being taught that such change is impossible.
We’re losing our ability to connect with others, especially when the things that make us different separate us rather than give us opportunities to share and understand.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen this increased anger and divisiveness with my own family. As a political moderate in a family of progressives, I’ve learned I can’t speak my mind, and I’ve grown resentful of that. One recent conversation with my brother, with whom I used to be quite close, ended up with him screaming at me for disagreeing with him on something. While we basically have wordlessly declared a truce—with the topic of anything political off the table for discussion, at least for me—it changed how I feel about him.
It’s sad, and I don’t see us as a society moving in a better direction on this anytime soon.