Survey Finds Americans Are Optimistic About Aging But Not Quite As Young As They Feel

Over a third of people expect to reach their 90s and more than half of Americans have changed their diets to combat the effects of aging

Jul 22, 2015, 08:06 ET from InsideTracker

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- We've all heard the phrase "You're Only As Young As You Feel" but new survey findings from InsideTracker have shown outward appearances and attitudes can be deceiving. Its America's Attitude to Aging1 study found that while 65% of people say they look good for their age, less than half believe they are in good shape. It also found that 60%2 of users of its InnerAge platform, a service that determines a person's biological age, are in fact older than their years (on average by 3.13 yrs2), despite people reporting they look (70%), and feel (61%), younger than they are.

The survey also calls into question the notion that America is a youth obsessed society:

  • Three times as many people claim they would rather stay at age 50 than 20
  • Only 17% of respondents consider people in their 60s to be old
  • 72% expect to live into their 80s and one in ten believe they will reach 100  
  • We are honest about our age, with only 1 in 5 people having lied about it. When people do lie, they are more likely to claim to be older
  • 71% expect to live longer than their parents
  • The top three celebrities believed to be aging well are George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Sean Connery for men; and Madonna, Betty White and Jennifer Aniston for women.

Interestingly, the survey found 84% of people believe they can take steps to slow down the effects of aging. People employ a vast array of methods to reduce the physical effects and appearance of aging with diet being the biggest weapon ahead of exercise and anti-aging treatments and procedures: 

  • Changing diet (54%) and regularly taking supplements (45%) 
  • Joining a gym (28%)
  • Using anti-aging creams (24%)
  • Giving up smoking (22%) and alcohol (18%)
  • Conducting cognitive mental exercises (19%).

"While people claim to look and feel younger than their years, scientific study after study show people are in fact more likely to be older than their chronological age," said Dr. Gil Blander, Chief Science Officer of InsideTracker. "That being said, our America's Attitudes to Aging study shows people are taking active roles to combat the impacts of aging and are embracing the prospect of their senior years. Today, 50 is the new 30, people in their 60s are far from being considered old and people are enjoying and expecting to lead healthy, active lives well into their 80s."

InnerAge is a service that assesses a person's biological versus chronological age by analyzing the five blood biomarkers most scientifically proven to impact longevity. It then suggests five Focus Foods which if incorporated into diet can optimize these biomarkers and help slow the effects of aging from the inside out.

Since the platform launched in January, it has found people have an InnerAge that is on average 3.13yrs older than their given years. It has also seen many examples of people reducing their InnerAge, in some cases by over a decade, by changing diets to optimize the key biomarkers which include: 

  • Glucose
  • Vitamin D
  • Testosterone (for men) / DHEAS (for women) 
  • hsCRP (an inflammation indicator)
  • ALT (a liver damage indicator)

The InnerAge platform was developed after nearly two years of research by some of world's leading authorities in aging. This illustrious list of scientists includes among others, Dr. David Sinclair, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, author of 162 publications on aging research and named by TIME Magazine as one of the world's hundred most influential people as well as Professor Lenny Guarente of MIT's Biology Department, author of over 200 publications in the field of metabolism and aging.

"While we can't beat old father time, there are steps people can take to optimize their inner health," Dr. Blander continued. "To improve longevity, people need to manage and optimize their body's glucose, vitamin D and inflammation levels, as well as improve their liver function. Immediate actions people can take include avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, quitting smoking and eating more foods such as avocados, beans, and artichokes to reduce glucose, eating more salmon, cheese, and mushrooms to increase levels of vitamin D and incorporating citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit into their diets to improve immune functions."

Like retirement planning, it is never too early to invest in health decisions that can extend and improve the quality of life in our senior years.  With the right information, actions and diet there is every reason to believe people can look, feel and become younger than their years. 

Data Sources:

Sources: 1. InsideTracker's America's Attitude To Aging Survey was conducted in October 2014 using the world's largest panel provider, Survey Sampling International. Feedback was collected from a representative sample of over 1,700 people aged 18-90yrs.  2. Aggregated biological data from over 200 beta users of InnerAge a patent pending platform analyzing key biomarkers associated with longevity. 3. The Census Bureau's 2010 population estimates.  

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SOURCE InsideTracker