The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or the beer can doesn’t fall far from the trailer. This is fairly true on our personality and behavior characteristics but doesn’t have to be so with our physical health. In a recent study by Professor Michael Snyder, he identified four ageotypes based on health factors. A common link between them are the controllable factors of diet and exercise that can help identify and reduce specific risk factors. While your mother has high blood pressure, you can make changes to lower yours even though you have a genetic predisposition.
Lifestyle is a 100% choice regardless of what’s in your wallet. The healthy and unhealthy purchases at the grocery store and daily physical activity levels are learned traits. When you’re born, you don’t have a predetermined genetic type of foods that are assigned to you like eye color. Your parents may choose high fat and sodium snacks for you a child, and of course you LEARN to like or not like them. As an adult with a source of income, you can make different choices from all the information freely available to you online and in the free magazines at the store. Because your parents are 40 lbs overweight does not require you to be also.
The choices made in your 40’s have a direct and significant impact on your physical and resulting cognitive health in your 60’s and on. Identifying potential biomarkers that can lead to diabetes, stroke, cancer, and dementia in middle age will result in a higher quality of life 20-30 years from now. The same impact is now heavily being affected in your children. The habits you have today teach them how to shop, eat, and be active as they reach adulthood. Give them help by helping yourself with healthier lifestyle choices. Nothing is sadder than seeing three generations of obesity and knowing it’s all a conscious and voluntary choice.
For all of the information out there, Americans still are getting fatter with more health problems and wondering why medications are more expensive. Is it laziness or denial or both? Recognition and admission are the first steps to changing your ageotype, then you have to execute on the changes. It really isn’t rocket science to stop eating high fat and ultra- processed carb foods. Small adjustments now yield big changes and a happier existence in the future. Your rate of aging can slow down to allow you more enjoyment with family and friends in years to come. Additionally, your entire extended family reaps the benefits and may actually join you in helping themselves reduce their own aging rate. Life is truly a win win at that point!