Life expectancy, mortality and longevity data related to height and body size for various US and world population samples are reviewed. Research on energy restriction, smaller body size and longevity is also examined. Information sources include various medical and scientific journals, books and personal communications with researchers. Additional information is presented based on research involving eight populations of the world noted for their health, vigor and longevity. This information includes the findings of one of the authors who led research teams to study these populations.
We conducted a 5-year cohort study among 162 self-sufficient residents in a public home for the elderly in Rome, Italy, to evaluate the association between the consumption of specific food groups and nutrients and overall 5-year survival. We used a validated, semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire to assess diet at baseline.
BACKGROUND: Relative risk estimates suggest that effective implementation of behaviors commonly advocated in preventive medicine should increase life expectancy, although there is little direct evidence. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that choices regarding diet, exercise, and smoking influence life expectancy. METHODS: A total of 34 192 California Seventh-Day Adventists (75% of those eligible) were enrolled in a cohort and followed up from 1976 to 1988. A mailed questionnaire provided dietary and other exposure information at study baseline.
Secular growth has been occurring in Europe for about 150 years. In the USA, since 1900, each new generation has increased by an average of 1in (2.54cm) in height and about 10lb (4.54kg) in weight. This trend has generally been viewed as favorable and tallness is admired, with the current ideal height for a man in the Western world being 6ft 2in (188cm). The Japanese have increased in height since the end of the Second World War by about 5in (12.7cm) in height and the Chinese have been growing at the rate of 2.54cm/decade since the 1950s.
BACKGROUND: To assess the overall influence of diet on health and disease in epidemiological studies, the habitual diet of the study participants has to be captured as a pattern rather than individual foods or nutrients. The simplest way to describe dietary preferences is to separate foods considered beneficial to health from foods considered to promote disease, and separate individuals on the basis of their regular consumption of these foods.
Over the last 100 years, studies have provided mixed results on the mortality and health of tall and short people. However, during the last 30 years, several researchers have found a negative correlation between greater height and longevity based on relatively homogeneous deceased population samples. Findings based on millions of deaths suggest that shorter, smaller bodies have lower death rates and fewer diet-related chronic diseases, especially past middle age. Shorter people also appear to have longer average lifespans.
BACKGROUND: Adherence to a Mediterranean diet may improve longevity, but relevant data are limited. METHODS: We conducted a population-based, prospective investigation involving 22,043 adults in Greece who completed an extensive, validated, food-frequency questionnaire at base line. Adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet was assessed by a 10-point Mediterranean-diet scale that incorporated the salient characteristics of this diet (range of scores, 0 to 9, with higher scores indicating greater adherence).