Ancel Keys

Famous Scientists: Ancel Keys

The scientists that changed our thinking about longevity It used to be that childhood was the most dangerous stage of life.  That means that throughout history, up until modern times life expectancy for most people was between 35-45 years.  That doesn’t mean that older ages were unheard of.  Life expectancy was low – on average …

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The Three Graces Prado Museum

Four million obese people in England might be unfairy excluded from priority vaccinations

When Liam Thorp, Political Editor of the Liverpool Echo tweeted on Wednesday that his doctor had mistakenly classed him as morbidly obese by recording his height as being 6.2cm instead of 6ft 2in we all had a good laugh.  No harm done!   But this simple clerical error at the GP surgery highlights a national issue …

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A soup kitchen in the Netherlands Wiki commons

Environment matters

We tend to think that ageing starts somewhere in late middle age. Who has not scrutinised their own reflection for signs of grey hair or the first wrinkle? But the reality is far more complex than that.  Your chances of enjoying longevity starts with your grandparents. During WWII the Germans invaded the Low Countries, precipitating …

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Adolphe Quetelet after a lithograph by Madou 1939

Famous Scientists: Adolphe Quetelet

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Bronze Age Peoples, describing how the archaeological evidence indicates that people lived then almost as long as we do today.  The Bronze Age is considered the beginning of civilisation.  By civilisation we mean a stable society, with towns and villages, with a system of commerce and agriculture, a …

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Mapping the future

Longevity shouldn’t feel like a life sentence

I’ve been discussing dementia care with some experts this week, and the advice that comes to me again and again as I research this topic is to have the important conversations early.  I think we all tend to put off thinking about old age, because we are deep down scared of what might happen.  And …

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Longevity is nothing new

There is increasing evidence that from about 10,000BCE, after people settled and started tending crops and domesticating animals, that diet improved, health improved and longevity started to rise.  Despite the fact that nothing was written down, there were no birth certificates and memory can play tricks on us even today, we can learn a lot …

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Glorious Summer – the secrets of longevity

Longevity is a scientific issue, but ageing is a social, financial, political and a feminist issue.  Like many things that happen to women more than men, growing old is often side-lined.  The disaster in our care homes during 2020 was a disaster that occurred more often to women than to men.  And it has been …

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