Simple, science-backed ways to look and feel years younger
If you’ve been following the sensible, science-backed approaches I reveal in Insiders’ Cures and my Daily Dispatch e-letter, I bet you’re often told you look much younger than you really are.
I call this your “wellness age.” And a new worldwide study has quantified how this type of aging can be measured.
For over 17 years, researchers collected data from every country around the world to determine the health profile of a typical person at age 65. Then they analyzed the chronological age in which people actually looked and felt as if they were 65.
Sadly, the results aren’t particularly good for the average American. But they do reinforce what I’ve been telling you all along about how diet and lifestyle choices impact healthy aging.
America ranked between Algeria and Iran
The researchers analyzed health data in 195 countries from 1990 to 2017. They looked at how 92 different medical conditions impacted “disability life years”—which is a measurement of the loss of healthy life, including mental and physical abilities.
Then they ranked each countries’ wellness age in terms of the health issues of an “average” 65-year-old.
This is especially important in the U.S. because 65 is the age we’re all required to go on Medicare—when the government bears the brunt of medical care costs.
The bad news (for the federal budget) is that Americans aren’t even in the top quarter of countries when it comes to wellness age.
The U.S. ranked 53rd in the study, between Algeria and Iran.
Researchers found that Americans have a “wellness age” of 68.5 years. Meaning that the average American doesn’t experience a 65-year-old’s age-related disease burden until they reach the age of 68.5. In other words, Americans delay aging, on average, by 3.5 years.
The top “wellness” countries
It’s no surprise to me that the healthy Japanese lifestyle resulted in the best wellness age in the world. In fact, in Japan, 76-year-olds experience the health pattern of 65-year-olds.
The other countries making up the top 10 in terms of wellness age included:
- South Korea
- Puerto Rico
I have no doubt that the Mediterranean diet (which I recommend no matter where you live because it’s rich in fruits, vegetables, full-fat dairy and cheese, fish, and healthy fats) boosts the health profiles of the French, Italians, and Spanish.
And Singapore and South Korea not only benefit from an Asian diet rich in fish, probiotic foods, and healthy greens, but also higher per capita incomes—which researchers found to be a factor across all high-ranking countries. This could certainly help account for the high wellness profile in wealthy countries like Switzerland and Kuwait, too.
South Pacific and Africa bring up the rear
The bottom 10 “wellness” countries were:
- Papua New Guinea
- Marshall Islands
- Solomon Islands
- Central African Republic
The gap between Japan and Papua New Guinea is noteworthy. In Papua New Guinea, 46-year-olds look like they’re 65 in terms of health—which translates to a wellness age 30 years older than the Japanese.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most remote locations on the planet, with isolated populations residing in deep valleys, separated by high mountains and surrounded by dense jungles. Not only is healthcare minimal, but knowledge about disease prevention is also limited.
It was here that one of my mentors at National Institutes of Health (NIH), Carlton Gajdusek, found the “slow virus” responsible for kuru—an early-onset, infectious version of dementia. So this finding isn’t too surprising.
Many of the other low-ranking countries are also in the South Pacific, and have always been places where it’s difficult for people to simply exist—let alone worry about healthy living.
The idea that the South Pacific is a tropical island paradise is influenced by the stories of Herman Melville and Somerset Maugham, along with the art of Paul Gaugin in the 19th century. But the rough reality is better reflected in the more recent travelogue by the modern author Paul Theroux, ironically entitled The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific.
Simple ways to boost your wellness age
There is good news though. The study showed that the amount of age-related death and disease decreased from 1990 to 2017 in all regions of the world.
Globally, heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive lung disease accounted for the greatest amount of death and disease burdens. Sadly, these “big three” diseases are all too familiar in the U.S.
But they are preventable.
I discuss natural medicine’s most cutting-edge techniques for avoiding heart disease and stroke in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol.
And I offer a comprehensive plan for improving your longevity—and combatting all the side effects of aging—in my Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting “Old Age” protocol.
(You can learn more about these learning tools, or enroll today by calling 1-866-747-9421 and asking for order code EOV3V602 for my heart protocol, and order code EOV3V600 for my longevity protocol.)
And soon, I’m planning to release my newest online learning protocol for Preventing and Reversing Lung Disease. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available, in my Daily Dispatch.
In the meantime, you can get a head start on dialing back your “wellness age” by simply following the other common sense advice I’ve shared here in this issue on diet and exercise.
Bottom line: It’s never too late to make healthy changes.
1“Measuring population ageing: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.” Lancet Public Health 2019; 4: e159–67.