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Friday, November 16, 2007

I don't eat this way for my health...

Call me a Pavlovian dog, but when I see a quiz, specifically ones with 10 questions or even better - 5, I am compelled to read on. My obsession must be abating. I find now, that instead of gathering the equipment needed to "take a quiz" (paper, pencil, selecting a place where I will not be disturbed) I peruse the items, with contained glee, not even bothering to sit down, reading & tallying points in my head. No mean feat, considering I am mathematically challenged!

Yesterday morning, was a perfect example. You may have noticed, if you live locally, the "Will you live to 100?" article in yesterday's Spectator. Only 5 questions. Perfect. True or False (idiot proof). It was the last one, #5, that was the clincher. You'll see why.

1. The thinner you are the longer you'll probably live (T or F).
2. Sleeping at least 8 hrs a night can add years to your life. (T or F)
3. Early retirement will protect you from life-shortening job stress. (T or F)
4. People who eat candy live longer than those who don't. (T or F)
5. Giving up meat and animal protein will increase your lifespan. (T or F)

So you can see by my high-lighted T's and F's which were the correct choices. Anyone could have passed this quiz with flying colours. Even me. They were trick questions - I was surprised by a couple of the explanations.

(1) I knew that a few extra pounds on our frames as we age is a good thing, particularly for women.
(2)I did not know that 5-7 hours of sleep was optimal (hell....some nights seem like I'm awake for 5-7 hours!!) but yes, I did know that excessive sleeping was a symptom of depression. I wouldn't call an 8 hr sleep during the night excessive nor indication of depression.
(3) Enjoy your work and you won't want to retire. The study indicated that people who retired at 65 outlive those who retired at 55. (Dam... that was my magic number.)
(4) People who indulged in a few sweet treats during the month lived on average 11 months longer (this brought to mind all kinds of amusing scenarios). As we all know, in particular dark chocolate, with it's good for the heart properties is a favourite. (Mmmmm...I keep a Cocamino Dark Chocolate bar in my desk at work and have 2 squares every day. I don't know about my heart, but my mouth says it is good.)
(5) and finally....guess who lived the shortest? Vegans. According to a German study, the moderate vegetarians (what's a moderate vegetarian?) had the longest lifespan. (But could this be offset by those 11 months in (4) above by indulging in more candy?)

The quiz was reprinted from an article published by Rodale Press, written by Amanda MacMillan. What was not provided were the sources. Amanda only included rather vague references such as "Harvard study" and "German study". I don't know who funded the studies either.

I leave you with a quote from for a "Future to be Possible" by Thich Nhat Hahn (page 107):

Some vegetarians are too extreme, and are unkind to those who cannot give up meat-eating. I am more comfortable with a meat-eater than an extremist vegetarian who is filled with self-righteousness. (as said by Sister Chan Khong).

Ouch....that hit a nerve... just a bit.



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