Middle aged dads are evolution’s heroes

Mike the Psych's Blog

Forget your lean testosterone-driven  alpha male.

It’s the men with love handles, slightly overweight,who live longer, are better at passing on their genes – and are more attractive to the opposite sex! A recent study of women in Latvia confirmed that such men are more sexually attractive than lean men.

It’s a mystery why men remain fertile for so long after they have passed their reproductive and physical peaks.

41a1gp0xwpl-_ac_us160_Richard Bribiescas, anthropology professor at Yale University thinks he knows the answer. In his book “How Men Age” he sets out a theory about pudgy dads which suggests that the slow ebbing of male sex hormones after the late teens is the key to longevity not just for men but also for women.

Most men become slightly fatter after fatherhood and find it increasingly difficult to build muscles as their testosterone declines. this however prolongs their lives and strengthens their immune…

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Divorce, conscious uncoupling, or graduation?

graduation_hat_tassel_flip_anim_500_wht_14455A bit tired of your other half? Feel you’ve grown apart? You still love the other person but not enough to be with them all the time?

You don’t want a divorce and if you’re the wrong generation to go the Gwyneth Paltrow route of conscious uncoupling perhaps the trend in Japan might be of interest.

Sotsukon or “graduation from marriage” is a sophisticated way to arrange your life and was proposed in a book by Yumiko Sugiyama back in 2004 –  Sotsukon no Susume or”I recommend graduating“.

It’s for people who still love each other, don’t want the messiness of a divorce, but no longer want to live together all the time.

Once you’ve raised the kids and sent them out into the world your marriage enters a new phase from which you graduate.

In Japan, traditionally the man is the head of the household, and the wife lives under his financial support as a domestic worker,” says Sugiyama. “I wondered what if each member of the married couple could obtain more freedom to do what they want without getting divorced?

Only 1 million babies were born in Japan in 2014, according to government figures,  the lowest figure on record. Japanese women in the same year had the longest life expectancy in the world — 86.83 years — according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

That means the longest period in a woman’s life is after her kids have gone,” says Masako Ishii-Kuntz, a professor of sociology at Ochanomizu University, in Tokyo. “Many empty-nesters have nothing left to do but care for their husband. “They realized they should pursue their own hobbies and happiness.

Sotsukon is for couples still in love, who decide to “live apart together” (something I’ve posted about before) in their later years to achieve their separate dreams.

In a nation with an aging population, the idea is becoming popular, usually instigated by the wife.

To make it work the couple must communicate and respect each other’s wishes. And it doesn’t remove the obligation to care for each other in ill health. They must also remain faithful – it is not an open marriage.

If you still want to follow the Gwyneth Paltrow/Chris Martin route check out the essential 5 steps to conscious uncoupling which claims to let you find your “happily ever after“.

Live longer – drink more coffee!

s1032160_2Coffee has its detractors I know but without my daily input of caffeine  I’d be lost. I know I’m only topping up my caffeine levels to what feels normal but that’s OK. And I have no truck with the coffee bar habitués who order skinny de-caffs – what’s the point? And even worse those who order skinny decaffs with a cream and cherry syrup topping or have a chocolate/caramel/sticky toffee bun on the side. Who are they kidding? Having skinny decaff doesn’t really give you a licence to indulge on other high calorie goodies.

But I digress. The latest research says that drinking three or more cups of coffee a day makes it less likely you will die an early death.

American researchers have found that coffee contains bioactive chemicals that may protect drinkers against diseases such as diabetes and dementia.

Three cups a day lowers your risk of premature death by 15%. And people who drink coffee are less likely to commit suicide.

Scientists now believe that moderate coffee drinkers are much less likely to die prematurely than people who don’t drink coffee based on a US study of almost 170,000 people for more than 20 years.

Whilst people who drink coffee are more likely to smoke, once you take that out of the equation coffee drinkers appeared to have a lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease, neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or suicide.

Even if you only drink one or two cups a day that gives you an 8% lower risk of premature death while of you drink more than five cups a day that increase to 12% less risk.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s decaffeinated. It’s the chemicals and compounds such as chlorogenic acid, lignans, and quinides, that appear to lower the levels of inflammation in the body and soften some of the factors leading to Type 2 diabetes.

The chlorogenic acid and the lignans have antioxidant effects and probably responsible for the relationship between coffee-drinking and mortality according to the study’s lead author Dr Ding Ming.

There’s also a study that suggests drinking two or three cups of coffee after you’ve been dieting helps you stay slim. Must be worth a try!

My last post on coffee

Other post on coffee & mental disorders

The North-South divide still exists

figure_good_choice_1600_wht_12897Babies born in the affluent South can expect to live 8 years longer than those born in the North-West.

Girls born in the Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, which includes Amersham and Chesham, are likely to be the longest lived alongside boys from south Cambridgeshire.

They can expect to live until they are 86 compared to a girl born in Manchester who has a life expectancy of 80, and boys born in south Cambridgeshire can expect to live to 84 compared to 74 for a boy born in Blackpool.

Overall life expectancy has risen as older people receive better health care and overall it is now just over 79 years for people living in England and Wales.

Health differences are strongly linked to economic status and lifestyle including smoking, obesity and alcohol abuse.

Many people now survive heart attacks, strokes and even cancer but this also means that more people are living with multiple chronic conditions.

To make matters worse up North people are moving South in search of the good life – or jobs at least.

The North has lost a quarter of its population over the last 100 years and now only has just under 30% of the total population of England.ONS figures show that there are only about 800 businesses per 100,000 population compared to ver 1,00 in the rest of England. Household income after tax is below the national average everywhere but for affluent North Yorkshire.

The happiness rating in the North is 7.3, just less than the 7.4 average but students seem to like the universities. Unfortunately most of them move back South when they have graduated.

Of course we suffer in the North from having a poor infrastructure. Having led the way in the Industrial Revolution no-one seems to care any more.

See the other serious North-South divide and perhaps a less serious one

Mid-life crisis? What about late life crisis?

stick_figure_heartbreak_1600_wht_4444More people in their 60s in UK are getting divorced it seems.

According to theInternational Longevity Centre – UK, the divorce rate is dropping for everyone except these so-called “silver splitters“. Their divorce rate soared by 85% between 1990 and 2012. It’s estimated that it will increase by 41% by 2037 meaning that 10% of all divorces will be in this age group.

And the experts say that will mean more lonely, sick, and impoverished singles.

Why is this happening? ILC-UK believe it’s partly because people are getting married later. Also women are more financially independent nowadays and divorce is not seen as such a terrible thing anymore.

Also we’re living longer. Not so long ago people didn’t expect to live so long after retirement, men in particular might be lucky to get 5 years as a pensioner (life expectancy for a man in 1980 was 71 and for a woman 77).

With improved healthcare that’s no longer the case so the thought of your formerly beloved partner hanging around for another 20 years might not be as appealing.

ILC-UK believes that these changes present fresh challenges to both society and the individuals concerned. “Increasing divorce rates … might result in greater isolation, illness and the need for more formal care. Individuals don’t expect to divorce so when it happens they may find themselves in difficult financial circumstances”
grandma_cane_fencing_500_wht_192But it’s not all gloom and doom. With divorce – or even without it – many pensioners are finding a new lease of life with new partners and, according to all the surveys, enjoying a good sex life.

Which is not entirely risk-free with a reported incase in STDs among older generations.




Cheer up and live longer

put_on_a_happy_face_500_wht_5883You might have thought that grumpy old people lived longer (and past research has supported that idea) but it now seems that older people who are satisfied with life are much less likely to die earlier.

Having a sense of purpose and control in life can protect against disease by lowering stress levels or blood pressure according to researchers at UCL.

Pyscho-neuro-immunologists have known for some time that feeling stressed all the time can impair your immune system and leave you more susceptible to illness. So improving people’s sense of well-being can also improve physical health.

People are least satisfied in middle age and only regain their youthful levels of well-being when they approach retirement age. Perhaps that tells us something about how dissatisfied people are during the latter part of their working lives.

The Scientists rated people’s well-being in terms of sense of purpose and how much they felt in control of their lives at age 65. They then checked back almost nine years later.

9% of those most satisfied had died but 29% of those least satisfied. After adjusting for wealth and education – factors associated worth well-being – they concluded that those with the highest levels of well-being were less likely to die during the study and live an extra 2 years.

Professor Steptoe, who led the study, said that it wasn’t enough just to deal with mental well-being in terms of the negative aspects such as depression and mental ill-health, but we should be thinking about reinforcing the positive aspects of mental well-being – although that’s not as simple as it might sound.

More Scaremongering so called “research”…………………….

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

More than four cups of coffee a day puts you at risk of early death, claim experts

U.S. researchers found more than 28 cups of coffee a week increases by half the chances of premature death in younger people. If you’re already holding your first coffee of the morning, you might want to put it down.

Because drinking four cups a day could raise your risk of dying young, researchers warn – but only if you’re under 55.

They found that consuming 28 cups of coffee a week increases the chances of premature death in younger people by half.  The findings come from a large- scale American lifestyle study of 43,727 individuals aged 20 to 87.

The US researchers suspect  (what they mean is they do not know) excessive coffee consumption may adversely affect the body’s metabolism, outweighing some of the known health benefits.

Individuals with a ‘genetic coffee…

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