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Watching the world and frightening yourself

One by-product of being someone who daily trawls the UK newspaper websites over the years is that one notices the frequency with which reports of latest scientific and medical research findings, particularly relating to health and ageing, appear to contradict each other.

Thus one day we learn that drinking alcohol in moderation is good for you – the next it is bad for you.

One week we read that regular exercise of any kind will help stave off dementia.

The next week, apparently. only certain types of physical activity benefit the older generation and others will do the opposite – or indeed we are told that, better than exercising at all, attempting the Times crossword or learning a new language are the best routes to retaining your marbles.

It’s enough to confuse the least-befuddled of minds.

Writing as someone who increasingly puts his glasses down to go and collect or do something and then, when he returns to his desk, takes a minimum five minutes to find them again (if at all) – this sometimes after he’s returned empty-handed from where he went to because when he got there he couldn’t remember the reason he’d set off – I find myself torn between (1) getting frustrated by all these happenings and (2) not doing so, i.e. just accepting it as an inevitable accompaniment to the process of getting older and something to be accepted/accommodated as part of one’s pact with Time.

Let me provide an example or two that appear today on the website of the Daily Mail:

 

A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

Constant received opinion has it that Millennials and young kids spend far too much time on the internet and/or their smartphones, to the point where – for example – they now find it difficult to interact is real-life social situations.

The way I understand it, the modern young generation of adults don’t go out to clubs, bars and parties anymore in order to meet new people, particularly potential partners of whatever type, because frankly they’re all far too busy to do this sort of thing “20th Century style”, regarding it a waste of their valuable time.

Instead they now tend to meet face-to-face – if ever – via dating websites, presumably on which they first ‘swipe’ left or right depending upon the attractiveness of the online potential partners (and profiles thereof) that get presented to them and then engage (or not) in sexual activity as a form of recreational sport, putting any one-night stands that result just down to ‘experience’ and any longer ‘hook ups’ they get into as a bonus of one nature or another.

On this subject – screen-time – as an oldie I have to confess that over the course of my life I have no doubt spent an unhealthy amount of my existence watching television. From my first dawning of self-awareness I’ve watch all forms of it – and particularly sport – on a daily basis.

In my youth – and middle age – I’d quite happily set aside up to eight hours or more to watch a cricket Test Match live, or two (or even three) football or rugby matches in succession over an afternoon/early evening, with just short breaks to grab food or take comfort breaks.

What’s not to like about that?

These days I tend to fire up the telly screen about 8.00am every morning and have it on in the background all day as a supplement to whatever else I’m up to. When it comes to it, I’m probably not watching more than four hours a day of it – as in, really watching it – it’s just ‘there’ in the corner of the room.

Anyway, here’s a link to the latest research findings, which are telling me (about a quarter of a century too late) that I’m being quietly been sending myself ga-ga – TOO MUCH TV IS BAD FOR OLDIES

 

ALCOHOL

This one keeps coming back with staggering regularity.

Sometimes a daily glass of red vino or indeed a shot of blended whisky is just the thing to keep one’s hardening arteries supple – the next, every time you even sniff alcohol you’re destroying a million brain cells that you’re never going to get back.

It’s enough to make you turn to drink!

Anyway, here’s the latest word on the subject – A GLASS A DAY BENEFITS ONLY THE AGED

 

THE CULT OF VEGETARIANISM AND VEGANISM

I’m an unabashed carnivore and have never seen the point of vegetarianism or veganism – or indeed those other versions in between (isn’t there one about only eating fish meat, pescetarianism or something?) – ever since the media storm of 1966/67 when Sir Francis Chichester became the first man to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route.

At the time – oddly, when you think that only two years later man had actually set foot on the Moon – Chichester’s considerable feat was a world sensation.

One of the factors that was made a big fuss of was that he had a vegetarian ever since he had been diagnosed with supposedly terminal cancer twenty years previously.

My only thought on the subject was that he looked so permanently emaciated and semi-ill that I convinced myself on the spot that there was no way Jose that I was going to give up red meat or indeed any.

Here’s a link to a story that appears today upon the website of the – VEGETARIANISM IS BAD FOR YOU

About Gerald Ingolby

Formerly a consumer journalist on radio and television, in 2002 Gerald published a thriller novel featuring a campaigning editor who was wrongly accused and jailed for fraud. He now runs a website devoted to consumer news. More Posts