Look, I’m as skeptical as you are when a scientific study tells us something we really want to hear. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Eggs will kill you, the delicious Bloomin’ Onion is literally the worst food for you on the planet, T-bone steaks will T-ank your blood pressure. That’s what I’m used to.
So it was with trepidation that I read about the wonderful, no, dare I say, transcendent, research findings on life longevity from the 90+ Study. The research findings were presented at the 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference by researchers Claudia Kawas and Maria Corrada from the University of California Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders.
The ongoing study, started 16 years ago, is intended to determine the factors of longevity including understanding what makes people live to age 90 and older and what types of food, activities, or lifestyles contribute to such long lives.
Participants in the study, referred to as “the oldest old” (which is what I feel like some days) are visited every six months by researchers who perform medical, physical, and cognitive tests and who gather dietary and lifestyle information.
Lo and behold, the research is finding that drinking wine (or other alcohol) and coffee in moderation leads to longer lifespans than for those who abstained. The key is, as with so many things in life, moderation.
Honestly, I don’t give a damn why the researchers came to this conclusion, they did, so just let me enjoy this.
Here’s why else this study is important and what else to do.
Let me instead ruminate on just how important this finding is, beyond the “finally, some good news from science” front. Anyone you talk to that enjoys wine and/or coffee will tell you it contributes to their happiness. And research increasingly supports that happiness leads to success, not the other way around. So the news of this study not only means that sipping a cup o’ joe and a glass o’ vino is good for life longevity, it will be a happier, more successful life at that.
But it would probably be irresponsible of me to suggest your life plan should stop at more Starbucks and Chardonnay. The study also touts the importance of more of what you’d expect, although even then, with a degree of surprise to it.
First, the more obvious. Life longevity is greatly enhanced by exercising 15 to 45 minutes each day, which reduces the risk of early death by 11 percent.
But this next one has a twist. The study also touts the importance of having hobbies so you can stay mentally sharp. In fact, spending two hours on a daily hobby reduces the risk of early death by a whopping 21 percent, almost twice that of exercising.
So in summary–the most important takeaways here are drink more wine, sip more coffee, and spend more time on your hobbies. At last, a prescription I can follow!