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The SEED? The stone is the ‘most nutrient-dense part’, expert reveals Read more:

Are you throwing away the healthiest bit of the avocado, the SEED? The stone is the ‘most nutrient-dense part’, expert reveals
New viral video demonstrates how to prepare the seed of an avocado
The video claims that the pit of an avocado is packed with nutrients
Most people just toss the avocado stone – assuming it must be inedible
New York City nutritionist confirmed to Daily Mail Online the pit is powerful
Avocado seed has antioxidants and fiber – which boosts a person’s health
It should be prepared into a fine powder and added to smoothies, she says
By LISA RYAN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

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They are a welcome addition to any salad, sandwich and even make a tasty snack on their own.
Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, avocados are packed with nutrients – containing nearly 20 vital vitamins and minerals.
From boosting heart health to protecting against a raft of conditions, including osteoporosis, various forms of cancer as well as helping vision, the humble fruit is an excellent addition to anyone’s diet.
But after slicing into an avocado, most people toss away the solid seed in its middle – assuming it is has no nutritional value.
Yet, a new viral video claims an avocado seed is actually the most nutrient-dense part of the fruit.
The revelation has left many wondering if avocado seeds are actually healthy – or if the claim is just another viral hoax.
New York City nutritionist Amy Shapiro, of Real Nutrition NYC, told Daily Mail Online that avocado seeds are, indeed, packed full of antioxidants and fiber.
She explained that the seeds can be blended down into a powder, and added to a smoothie or yogurt for an extra nutritional kick.
Scroll down for video
The latest viral sensation taking over everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds is an instructional video about how to prepare – and consume – an avocado seed. A New York City nutritionist confirmed to Daily Mail Online that the avocado pit is healthy to eat, for it is full of antioxidants and fiber

The latest viral sensation taking over everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds is an instructional video about how to prepare – and consume – an avocado seed. A New York City nutritionist confirmed to Daily Mail Online that the avocado pit is healthy to eat, for it is full of antioxidants and fiber
How to cut and eat an avocado seed
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Ms Shapiro said: ‘Something that we’ve all been throwing out is so powerful.’
The video, from holistic cooking blog Nourish Me Whole, instructs the viewer on how to prepare the avocado seed, so that it can be used in smoothies and juices.
The seed is removed as normal, but then dehydrated in the oven, cut into small pieces and blended into a fine powder.
Something that we’ve all been throwing out is so powerful
Nutritionist Amy Shapiro
Ms Shapiro explained to Daily Mail Online that consuming avocado seed can boost someone’s health.
She said: ‘About 70 per cent of the antioxidants of avocados are in the pit.’
Antioxidants fight free radicals – which means they can help the immune system prevent disease.
And, antioxidants can even help prevent wrinkles from developing in a person’s skin.
On top of the antioxidants, avocado seeds are also full of fiber, Ms Shapiro explained.
The nutritionist said: ‘The fiber creates a really healthy environment for the healthy bacteria in your gut to thrive on and stay alive – it’s kind of a prebiotic.’
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO PREPARE – AND EAT – AVOCADO SEED
1. To prepare an avocado seed for eating, remove the seed as you normally would
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1. To prepare an avocado seed for eating, remove the seed as you normally would
2. Then, tap a sharp knife into the seed (left) – and twist. Rinse the seed, then place in an oven pan

2. Then, tap a sharp knife into the seed (left) – and twist. Rinse the seed, then place in an oven pan
3. Dehydrate the seed at 120 degrees Celsius for one-and-a-half to two hours
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3. Dehydrate the seed at 120 degrees Celsius for one-and-a-half to two hours
4. The seed should be dehydrated until it looks like the photo above – with the outer skin dried

4. The seed should be dehydrated until it looks like the photo above – with the outer skin dried
5. Once the seed has cooled to the touch, discard the dry outer skin

5. Once the seed has cooled to the touch, discard the dry outer skin
6. Find the seam created by your knife when you removed the seed

6. Find the seam created by your knife when you removed the seed
7. Gently press your knife into it, which should cause it to pop into two halves
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7. Gently press your knife into it, which should cause it to pop into two halves
8. Use a sharp knife to dice the seed halves

8. Use a sharp knife to dice the seed halves
9. After the seed is diced into small pieces, blend it into a fine powder using a high-powered blender

9. After the seed is diced into small pieces, blend it into a fine powder using a high-powered blender
10. Store the powder in the fridge in an air-tight container

10. Store the powder in the fridge in an air-tight container
Furthermore, foods that are high in fiber help people feel full – which can lead to a reduction in calories consumed.
Thus, the avocado pit’s fiber content can aid in weight loss.
Avocados are really high in antioxidants, so they’re protective to disease and cancers
Ms Shapiro
Fiber also helps with digestion – keeping people’s bowel movements ‘regular’.
And, it can lead to decreased cholesterol levels.
But despite all of the health benefits associated with avocado seeds, Ms Shapiro told Daily Mail Online that they can taste bitter.
That’s why, she explained, it’s best to mix the blended seeds with smoothies or yogurt – to get a better taste.
Of course, the rest of the avocado is healthy, as well.
‘Avocados are really high in antioxidants, so they’re protective to disease and cancers,’ Ms Shapiro said.
‘It is also a really good source of heart-healthy, heart-protective fat.’
Avocado seeds have a bitter taste, so they should be cut into small pieces and blended into a fine powder. People can add the powder to smoothies, juices or yogurts, the nutritionist revealed
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Avocado seeds have a bitter taste, so they should be cut into small pieces and blended into a fine powder. People can add the powder to smoothies, juices or yogurts, the nutritionist revealed
The fruit helps keep people’s ‘bad cholesterol’ levels down – and their ‘good cholesterol’ levels high.
The Real Nutrition NYC expert added: ‘It’s also great for our skin because of the collagen, and because of the fat.’
And, like its seed, avocados can help keep people feeling full longer.
In other words, when it comes to avocado, a little bit goes a long way to help you stay full and get healthy, the nutritionist said.

 

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Why cutting sugar won’t solve obesity puzzle

 

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Obesity is on the increase. And so are the numbers of theories all blaming different offenders. Culprit of the month is sugar, with researchers arguing that high levels of sugar in fizzy drinks, sweets and processed foods not only cause aggression and behavioural problems in children but also diabetes, obesity and hidden fat – even in those who look thin.

Sugar is a drug, we are told, and like any drug can create an addiction that causes tolerance and withdrawal leaving us wanting to consume more. Sugar is the “big kahuna” of the lies promulgated by the food industry, the evil factor responsible for society’s biggest problem and counter moves include policies such as limiting its intake through banning supersized fizzy drinks as proposed in New York and bans on unhealthy vending machines in schools.

But is the “war on sugar” really the magic solution we have all been waiting for?

Before sugar, we had the evils of carbohydrates as exemplified by the Atkins diet, which encouraged us to eat high protein diets. Carbohydrates, we were told, were just disguised sugars and if we could only be without we would all be thin.

Then there was research showing us that television and computer games were the key causes of obesity, particularly in children. Screen time is dangerous and should be limited to two hours a day to prevent children from becoming fat.

And we have also had the biological theories: the “hunger hormone” grehlin was hailed as a great breakthrough for several years and there has been the never ending search for the obesity gene. Researchers have found genes in rats which make them obese and leptin levels in children linked to weight gain.

And let’s not forget the oldest culprit so far in this attempt to solve the obesity puzzle: fat. For many decades now, a low-fat diet has been prescribed as the key to weight maintenance and weight loss which has been the basis for the now iconic “healthy plate”, which illustrates what we should eat and in what proportions, and is core to the regimes of most commercial weight loss programmes.

Nothing new to this holy grail
Even in the 1800s there were many solutions to obesity including Dr Schindler Barnay’s Marienbad Reducing (Anti-Fat) Pills and Lord Byron’s choice diet of potatoes flattened and drenched in vinegar.

I definitely don’t want chips with my vinegar. Back then the search was also on for the “single” explanation that could fix the population’s waistlines and with each solution presented as the “real” answer that superseded all others.

But is there is a single answer to this complex and multifactorial problem? Is obesity really caused by sugar or screen time or genes or fat? Or is the answer simply: all of the above?

We can’t just be addicted to sugar as no one gets the sugar out of the cupboard to eat on it’s own. We don’t say we’re addicted to fat when it comes in the form of chips and curry. And genes alone can’t explain it as people gain weight when they move countries even when their genes stay the same.

Many researchers want to find a single solution to this problem as this brings acclaim, glory, citations and the understandable satisfaction of having solved a problem. And researchers also tend to belong to specific disciplines, whether it’s nutrition, genetics, psychology or biochemistry, and need to believe that their discipline has the true explanation. And “all of the above” isn’t going to do anything for anyone.

But maybe “all of the above” is as good as it’s going to get – and actually the way we should be going. Obesity is simple: overeating and under-activity, probably helped by a dose of obesity-prone genes. But a simple explanation is not a single explanation, and while trying pin down a single culprit may help academic careers, it does nothing for solving this recalcitrant problem.

• Jane Ogden, Professor of Health Psychology, University of Surrey

•This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

By Jane Ogden EmailPrint

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Why do we get fatter as we age?

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Once we shift from our developing years our energy expenditure generally slows down. Photo / Getty
Once we shift from our developing years our energy expenditure generally slows down. Photo / Getty
Many people find that when they look back at images of themselves in their early 20s they are a far cry from where they are now. As the years go by, the extra kilos here and there add up.

But is it inevitable to put on a few kilos of fat on as you head into your 30s, 40s, 50s and onwards due to genetics and hormones? Or is it an accumulation of poor lifestyle habits and the fast paced, sugar filled and disposable world we live in now?

Statistics show that our body fat increases steadily after age 30 and for women this may increase by as much as 30 per cent by the time menopause starts.

The fat shifts from subcutaneous, under the skin, to visceral which is around the internal organs. Visceral fat is associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Between the ages of 30 and 60 our reaction time slows down with a decrease in the speed at which our nerves conduct impulses by approximately 15 per cent.

Our maximum breathing capacity decreases approximately 40 per cent and there’s an average of 40 per cent to 50 per cent reduction in muscle mass during with a similar decline in bone mass.

When we look at the data from the National Nutrition Survey 1995 and National Health Survey 2007-08, we see the prevalence of overweight and obesity increases with age.

There’s no denying that hormones change in different ways as we age especially through menopause which can effect weight gain. But there are so many other reasons our weight creeps up.

Here are 10 possible lifestyle causes of weight gain as you age so you can keep an eye out for them and, most importantly, do something about it:

1. Social factors and relationships – Once you are off the market some lose motivation to keep up the advertising budget (ie. keep in shape)

2. Life gets busy/kids – Priorities change to provide a living for family and get ahead financially

3. Once we shift from our developing years (0-20yrs thereabouts) our energy expenditure generally slows down as our resting metabolic rate (RMR) decreases

4. Our jobs generally become more sedentary as we get older

5. We stop playing sports

6. We generally stop being as active – We lose the drive to go play handball or soccer at lunch, or go skateboarding or bike riding with our friends after school

7. Old injuries add up and slow us down – even those with the best intentions can struggle with the accumulation of injuries and the rate at which they heal as you age

8. We value things other than being slim – Our food, cars, whisky, poker nights etc suddenly become more important

9. Higher levels of general lifestyle stress equals more cravings of all things that start with ‘C’ and end in ‘E’. Chocolate, coffee, cake, cookies, Coke … the list goes on

10. Christmas holiday breaks – they’re fun at the time, but studies show the average person stacks on weight each year over the holidays and then doesn’t manage to shed it all. The average gain each year is around 500 grams, which over 10 years can add up. That’s five kilos a decade!

So are we doomed and have to accept the ageing weight gain and the disease and complications that come with it? Or can we address some of the lifestyle habits above and achieve a better quality of life, a longer existence and less lifestyle disease?

I know what my thoughts are … I endeavour to provide you with the knowledge, education and tools to create better lifestyle habits, so that you have the best life possible!

By Tim Robards EmailPrint

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Could the sun help us live to a ripe old age? Women who soak up the rays twice as likely to be alive 20 years later than those who actively avoid them Read more:

Even with higher skin cancer risk, those who lap up sun should live longer
Avoiding sun may ‘do more harm than good’ and be worse than smoking
Researchers from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, tracked 30,000 women
By FIONA MACRAE FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Lady sun bathing
A little sunshine won’t just brighten up your day – it could also help you live longer.
Research shows that even with the increased risk of skin cancer, those who lap up the sun are less likely to die young than those who prefer to stay in the shade.
In fact, women who soak up the rays are twice as likely to still be alive 20 years later as those who actively avoid them.
Woman who soak up the rays are more likely to be alive 20 years later than those who actively avoid them, according to scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (posed by model)
Woman who soak up the rays are more likely to be alive 20 years later than those who actively avoid them, according to scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (posed by model)
Swedish scientists concluded that staying out of the sun ‘may do more harm than good’ – and could pose as much a health risk as smoking.
However campaigners warn that sun-worshippers must not use the findings as an excuse to avoid protecting their skin.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm examined data from almost 30,000 women whose health was tracked for two decades.

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The women were asked if they smoked and about their attitude to the sun – including whether they actively sunbathed or booked sunshine breaks abroad.
The results showed that those who sought out the rays were less likely to die of heart disease and other illnesses, apart from cancer.
But the researchers said it is precisely this lower chance of sickness that allows the women to live long enough to develop skin cancer.
Experts have warned that sitting in the sun – despite having benefits – can still increase a person’s risk of getting skin cancer
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Experts have warned that sitting in the sun – despite having benefits – can still increase a person’s risk of getting skin cancer
Another calculation suggested that staying out of the sun raises the odds of early death as much as smoking.
Writing in the Journal of Internal Medicine, the Swedes said they can’t be sure how sunlight is benefiting health.
However, one possibility is that it lowers blood pressure.
Another popular theory is that by raising levels of vitamin D, the rays help protect against a host of conditions such as diabetes and brittle bones. It could also stop stress taking a toll by boosting levels of feel-good endorphins in the body.
The results come just weeks after guidance from drugs rationing body NICE warned that there is no such thing as a healthy tan.
Last month, it urged Britons to slap on up to eight teaspoons of suncream during the summer or when visiting hot climates.
Cancer Research UK added that evidence showing sunbathing raises the risk of cancer is greater than that suggesting it wards off heart disease.
Sarah Williams, from the charity, said: ‘The only clear health benefit to spending time in the sun is producing vitamin D – there isn’t good evidence that it reduces the risk of heart disease. [But] the evidence is clear that the rays can increase the risk of skin cancer.’
Research from experts at Edinburgh University has previously suggested that sunshine lowers blood pressure, cutting the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

 

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Strolling into the record books: Norman, 91, was first patient on the NHS to have hips replaced 67 YEARS ago – and says they still work perfectly Read more:

Norman Sharp developed septic arthritis as a child and struggled to walk
World War II delayed treatment until 1948 – when the NHS was established
He became first patient to have a hip replacement in December that year
Is in the Guinness World Record Books for longest lasting hip replacement
By KATE PICKLES FOR MAILONLINE
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A 91-year-old British man has walked into the record books with the world’s longest lasting hip replacement.
Retired engineer Norman Sharp was the first person to undergo a hip operation under the newly-formed NHS in December 1948.
He was fitted with two alloy hip cups aged just 23 – which are still working more than 67 years later.
The pioneering operation, performed by orthopaedic surgeon Philip Newman, is thought to have been the first procedure of its kind by the NHS.

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Norman Sharp was the first person to undergo a hip operation under the newly-formed NHS in December 1948
Mr Sharp, left, is pictured recovering in his hospital bed in 1948 after becoming the first person to undergo hip replacement surgery on the NHS

Mr Sharp, left, is pictured recovering in his hospital bed in 1948 after becoming the first person to undergo hip replacement surgery on the NHS
Mr Sharp said it was amazing the implants have survived for almost seven decades – especially given modern alternatives can last just 10 to 15 years.
He has now been officially recognised by Guinness World Records as having the world’s longest lasting hip replacement.
The great-granddad, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, said: ‘It’s incredible. It’s fantastic. Even to reach this old age is an amazing thing. It’s all just wonderful.
‘The last doctor to inspect my legs was Mr Newman, the surgeon himself, the year after the operation. I haven’t had any problems or pain since then.
‘They discovered this new treatment in America and brought it back to me. Mr Newman said, ”I think I can help this young man.”
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Mr Sharp underwent the pioneering surgery after spending almost 20 years waddling around with little movement in his hips.
It began when he developed an ear infection in 1930 as a five-year-old boy which led to septic arthritis, leaving him unable to walk and in excruciating pain.
It’s incredible. It’s fantastic. Even to reach this old age is an amazing thing. It’s all just wonderful
Norman Sharp, 91
Staff at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore, London, fused his hips together to reduce the movement and started helping him to learn how to walk again.
But Mr Sharp’s treatment grounded to a halt in 1939 when World War Two broke out – and he was left with a limp until nearly a decade later.
It wasn’t until three years after the fighting was over that he heard back from the hospital once again – and was earmarked for experimental surgery.
The first operation was carried out on December 1, five months after the NHS formed on July 5 1948, on his left hip.
Mr Sharp, pictured far right, in the late 1940s was soon back on his feet after having the operation

Mr Sharp, pictured far right, in the late 1940s was soon back on his feet after having the operation
The hip replacement, pictured in an X-ray, has lasted for over 67 years after Mr Sharp underwent surgery shortly after the NHS was formed
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The hip replacement, pictured in an X-ray, has lasted for over 67 years after Mr Sharp underwent surgery shortly after the NHS was formed
Mr Sharp is pictured in a wheelchair in 1948, prior to his surgery, which has now put him in the record books

Mr Sharp is pictured in a wheelchair in 1948, prior to his surgery, which has now put him in the record books
His right hip was operated on 12 days later, on December 22, with both sureries taking place at the same hospital where he was treated as a little boy.
Mr Sharp, who worked as an apprentice toolmaker during the war and went on to build his own company before retiring in 1980, said: ‘It changed my life.
After the operation, I was eventually able to walk more normally. I have been lucky enough to lead a full life – I made good use of them
‘My hips had been fused since I was five and though I could walk, I was waddling. I could only walk from the knees down and I couldn’t move my hips at all.
‘I still went out dancing and boozing and whatever else young kids do. If the boys climbed trees I climbed the trees – like a monkey, but I still climbed them.
‘After the operation, I was eventually able to walk more normally. I have been lucky enough to lead a full life – I made good use of them.
‘It was the first hip replacement to be carried out by the NHS. That’s quite something.
‘But the icing on the cake is that I’ve gone one Guinness World Record for that single hip, while in actual fact I have had both for more than 67 years now.’
Mr Sharp, who has about 20 great-grandchildren, 16 grandchildren and four sons – though he can’t remember the exact numbers – said they all think it’s amazing too.
The retired engineer and great-grandad poses with an x-ray of his record breaking hips. He said: ‘The last doctor to inspect my legs was Mr Newman, the surgeon himself, the year after the operation. I haven’t had any problems or pain since then’
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The retired engineer and great-grandad poses with an x-ray of his record breaking hips. He said: ‘The last doctor to inspect my legs was Mr Newman, the surgeon himself, the year after the operation. I haven’t had any problems or pain since then’
He added: ‘It was a brand spanking new job. I was the first patient of Mr Newman to get these and he had the courage to try them out on me.
‘A lot of the other doctors were critical of him. I’m thrilled to think I was part of that initial pioneering work.
John Skinner, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the RNOH where Mr Sharp was treated, described his story as ‘remarkable.’
‘He’s still active and still happy with his hips after all this time.
‘The vitallium implants are an alloy of cobalt and chrome first developed in 1932 and were very new at the time.
‘Modern hip replacements have evolved through the years and are now one of the most successful operations that we have.
‘In fact, it was termed the operation of the twentieth century. The aim is to relieve pain and it is the best treatment for any pain caused by arthritis.’
Mr Sharp will revisit the RNOH in June this year as a special guest – 85 years after he was first admitted.
A Guinness World Records spokeswoman said: ‘We can confirm that Norman Sharp remains the current record holder for the title of longest-lasting hip replacement, and we congratulate him on his officially amazing achievement.’

 

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Women do live longer than men, but they spend more of their golden years battling disability Read more:

Life expectancy for a US woman rose from 82.5 to 85.5 years, experts say
However, men’s life expectancy only increased from 80 to 84 years
Women are still living longer than men – but spending more time disabled
Experts found women over 65 spend 30% of remaining years disabled
In contrast, men only spend 19% of their remaining years disabled
By LISA RYAN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

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Women in the US have a longer life expectancy than men, scientists have revealed.
However, women spend more of their golden years living with disabilities.
Experts analyzed data from 1982, 2004 and 2011 taken from studies on disability trends on US adults over the age of 65.
Over that period, the average woman’s life expectancy rose by two years – from 82.5 to 85.5 years.
Men don’t live as long – but their life expectancy rose by five years – from 80 to 84 years.
But despite their longer lives, women over the age of 65 spent an estimated 30 per cent of their remaining years on disability.
Meanwhile, men started out spending 22 per cent of their remaining years disabled – but that figure dropped to 19 per cent by the end of the study.
Scientists revealed women are living longer than ever – as their life expectancy rose from 82.5 to 85.5 years, compared to only 84 years for men. But, women spend more of their older years disabled

Scientists revealed women are living longer than ever – as their life expectancy rose from 82.5 to 85.5 years, compared to only 84 years for men. But, women spend more of their older years disabled
Lead study author Dr Vicki Freedman, of the University of Michigan, told Reuters that it is hard to pinpoint exactly why women may experience more years of disability.
But, the scientist noted that it may stem from unequal progress in treating their health conditions – or different shifts in gender lifestyle habits, such as smoking and exercise, over time.
Dr Freedman said: ‘Older women also have fewer economic resources than men on average so they may not be as able to accommodate their declines in functioning when they do occur.

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‘Whatever the reason, this is an important trend to continue to monitor as the large Baby Boom cohorts continue to reach old age.’
Being disabled makes it harder for a person to complete daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, shopping, cooking or driving.
‘Women are biologically more hearty than men so instead of dying from a heart attack or something like that they recover, but they recover disabled
Dr James Kirkland, of Mayo Clinic
Severe disability – in which people had trouble with at least three activities – declined for both men and women during the study period.
In 1982, 13.2 per cent of women and 10.7 per cent of men suffered from severe disability beyond age 65.
But by 2011, this dropped to 10 per cent of women and seven per cent of men, the scientists reported in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study is limited in that it relied on data from only three years – which means the researchers didn’t get to explore how disability onset or recovery might influence life expectancy.
The scientists also limited their analysis of disability to mobility and completion of daily activities – excluding other conditions that could influence health and quality of life.
Women over the age of 65 spend an estimated 30 per cent of their golden years on disability, compared with men, who only spend 19 per cent of their older years disabled, experts found
Women over the age of 65 spend an estimated 30 per cent of their golden years on disability, compared with men, who only spend 19 per cent of their older years disabled, experts found
However, it is possible that the heartiness that makes women outlive men might also be the reason for their greater propensity towards disability, according to Dr James Kirkland, director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at the Mayo Clinic.
Dr Kirkland, who wasn’t involved in the study, told Reuters: ‘Women are biologically more hearty than men so instead of dying from a heart attack or something like that they recover, but they recover disabled.’
Furthermore, women may also assume caretaker roles – leaving less time for activities that normally keep disability at bay, noted Dr Lili Lustig, of the Cleveland Clinic.
And, women may also lack the same financial resources to stop working as they get older or pay for the services they need, added Dr Lustig, who wasn’t involved in the study.
Women may also struggle to pay for basic needs, such as food, medicine and housing.
Dr Lustig told Reuters: ‘Women are not prepared for the golden years.
‘The idea of idyllic retirement portrayed on TV does not exist.’