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Fri, Oct. 18

Bluhm: Study shows value of ‘modestly’ treating yourself

Judy Bluhm, Courier Columnist

Judy Bluhm, Courier Columnist

Eat, drink and be merry? Oh yea, finally, a group of health researchers have come out with a study that we might like. Yes, Dear Readers, a 15-year study on longevity has revealed that everything about “being healthy” might be subject to speculation. No more keto diets or disgusting kale (OK, now the emails will be coming), or walking endless hours on treadmills. Just drink coffee, enjoy a few alcoholic beverages and eat well, every day. Evidently, being a little bit “fluffy” means that a long life may await you.

When researchers at the University of California, Irvine, looked into the health habits and factors for people who live well into their late 80s or 90s, they discovered a few things. First, drink that coffee. Two cups a day of our favorite java is good. Alcohol? Drink up. That’s right, go ahead and imbibe, because a few glasses of wine seem to be OK. And skinny? Forget about it. People who are carrying a few extra pounds into their 70s have a better chance of living longer than those who are very thin or underweight.

OK, so this study is not about obesity, alcoholism or gallons of coffee a day. But it does point out that we can still have our favorite cup of Joe, sip our alcohol beverages and enjoy a few nachos every now and then. Reminds me of what Mark Twain famously wrote about growing old. He is quoted as saying that having a few “bad habits” is important as you age. Twain compared aging to a sinking ship. If your ship is going down, it is good to have stuff to throw overboard. If you have “bad habits” and you then develop health problems when you get older, you can throw a few of these habits “overboard.” It might right your ship.

I told my physician about this heath research and she suggested that I was making it up. Hey, I even sent her the link and all she could do is say “I am not convinced.” Well, sure, it simply sounds too good to be true. But I think it is brilliant. Dr. Claudia Kawas, the chief investigator and neurologist for the “90+ Study,” claims that people who drink coffee and alcohol “modestly” throughout their life will live longer than those who don’t. Hmmm, I might pour myself a glass of wine right now.

But wait. The real key to a longer life? Happiness. A positive attitude, lack of stress and hopeful outlook seem to be basic ingredients for living longer. People who are unhappy evidently die sooner than those who are content and happy. The studies at the University of Kansas claim that more than anything else, people who are happy have a 35 percent chance of living longer, into their 80s and 90s, than those folks who are unhappy.

What is happiness? Finding joy in each day’s “small miracles.” Seeking the best in others. Showing kindness and compassion. Having a purpose. Loving self and others. Want to live longer? Smile more often. No drinking or eating required.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email

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