A few thoughts on positive attitudes, other influences

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

You won’t live longer with a negative attitude, it’ll just seem longer to you and the people around you.

New research confirms some Old Testament wisdom, a cheerful heart really is like a medicine.

People who have a more positive outlook have an 11 to 15% longer lifespan, and 50 to 70% better odds of reaching 85 years old, compared to those who are less optimistic, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To quote Bob Marley:

If you get down and you quarrel everyday,

You're saying prayers to the devils, I say,

Why not help one another on the way?

Make it much easier (just a little bit easier)

The study (http://bit.ly/2Le6Q2E) looked at nearly 70,000 women and about 1,500 men who completed a survey about their level of optimism, tracking the women for 10 years and the men for 30 years.

Even after taking behavior such as alcohol use, diet and exercise into account, researchers found that the most positive participants lived longer than the “Debbie Downers.”

Speaking of alcohol — today is National Red Wine Day — we received a news release criticizing another study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, that concluded women could improve their mental health by quitting drinking, as well as other studies that concluded one or two drinks a day increases the risk of breast cancer.

The same release criticized a meta-analysis (a study of other studies) that concluded half a glass of wine per day is the health-risk equivalent for women of smoking two packs of cigarettes a month.

The writers accused researchers of “sloppy math” as well as ignoring significant factors such as diet and genetics.

They also pointed out years of research that moderate alcohol consumption can have modest health benefits like a reduced risk of heart disease. “A handful of new studies rooted in questionable methodologies should not instantly overturn what up until now has been the scientific consensus.”

The release was from, of course, the American Beverage Institute, but did offer a sensible conclusion “All studies exploring women’s health should be taken seriously. And, abusing alcohol can have major repercussions. But it’s clear when examining the comprehensive body of science that alarm over one daily drink is misplaced. Healthy Americans, regardless of gender, can continue to raise a glass in moderation.”

Rather than Bob Marley, who is more often associated with another mood-altering substance, perhaps the American Beverage Institute would be more likely to quote the Apostle Paul, who advised Timothy, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” - KJV

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