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“their habits were, if anything, worse”

“their habits were, if anything, worse”

Story in NY Magazine about a longevity study of Askenazi Jews (h/t DINORightMarie at the Tip Line):

An Einstein study published in August asked whether the SuperAgers, over the course of their lives, had better health habits than the general population.

The answer was no; their habits were, if anything, worse. They smoked as much or more than others and were no better about diet or exercise. Tommy Kahn described his father’s lifelong eating habits as “lamb chops one night, steak the next.” Exercise was sporadic and mild. “Healthy living can get you past 80,” says [Dr. Nir] Barzilai, “but not to 100.” Something else is at play. When asked what they themselves thought it might be, the participants offered such explanations as genes, luck, and family history. God, says Barzilai, finished last.

My favorite “Jewish” joke in the article:

At his checkup, Schwartz asks the doctor, Do you think I’ll live to 100? I don’t smoke or drink or eat rich food or have sex with loose women.”

“So why do you want to live to 100?”


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If I live to be 100, let it be known that my secret was chicken soup for breakfast every morning.

If “Jewish Penicillin” is the Jews’ secret when they’re sick, I’ll go ’em one better and have it every day.

LukeHandCool (who looks young for his age and is rarely sick … but who is the biggest baby in the world in need of constant doting care on those rare occasions he does catch something).

When the Yemenites came to Israel they were fascinated to learn of the changes in modern society. One man of 95 learned of life insurance and came to buy some. The insurance agent was reluctant to sell him because of his age.

“But you sold a life insurance policy to my father last week” complained the immigrant.

“Have your father come in on Monday and I will sell you a policy too”, responded the agent.

“He can’t come that day”

“Why not?”

“He has to go to my grandfather’s wedding”.

“Your grandfather is getting married?”

“He doesn’t want to, but his parents were nudging him so much he finally agreed”.

After reading a plethora of studies about the link/non-link of fat/carbs/exercise to longevity/non-longevity, I am now convinced that those folks who ignore any attempt to change the lifestyle will probably live the longest. Once your body adapts to a certain lifestyle, changing it only has a downside.

Personally, I think it’s the gefilte fish. But according to my great grandfather, who lived into triple digits, it’s the Jewish brand of existentialism that expresses itself as fatalism.

G-d is 4th? Nah,how could that be when He is directly responsible for genes, for luck, and personal conditions?
Longevity is good. The patriarch Moses lived to be 120 years with perfect eyesight and his strength was not abated(must have been all that Mt. Sinai climbing up and down). Yet the Askenazi have some very specific rare genetic diseases.
“…On The Evolution Of Ashkenazi Jewish Intelligence

Ashkenazi Jews pose two mysteries for biological science. First, why do they have so many genetic diseases that fall into just a few categories of metabolic function such as the sphingolipid storage diseases Tay-Sachs, Gaucher, Niemann-Pick, and mucolipidosis type IV? The rates of such diseases are so high that their incidence must be the result of either a recent genetic bottleneck where the Ashkenazi population was very small or natural selective pressures aimed at some other phenotype(s) selected for these genotypes due to advantages that those genotypes offer for other functionality. The second mystery is why are Jews so smart? Granted, a lot of Jews want to argue that they are just studious due to their culture. Also, lots of ideologues – particularly on the political Left – stand ready to attack anyone who argues that ethnic and racial groups differ in average intelligence. But the higher average level of Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence is so glaringly obvious that I figure anyone who tries to argue otherwise is either engaged in intellectual con artistry or is ignorant or foolish. So again, why are Jews so smart?…”

60% of the Israeli workforce are Askenazi. Israel has world class medical research and health care unfortunately long-term research of individuals are limited by the hazards of their political environment.

[…] People who live long have terrible health habits […]

edgeofthesandbox | November 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm

My great-great mother lived through two wars and three revolutions, and died at 98, which in the Soviet Union was unheard of. Her diet was either very little food — at the time there wasn’t much of it — or something fatty.