A smart, well-researched investigation on how to live to 100.
Besides teaching her how to ride a bike and mow the lawn (without cutting the cord), Marta Zaraska's father taught her the importance of diet and exercise for healthy living and a long life. Like many of us, the importance of a healthy, organic diet, physical activity, and lots of sleep were impressed upon Marta. As any parent, Marta's father wanted his child to live to be 100.
When Marta became a parent herself, she found herself wanting the same thing for her own daughter: a long, healthy life. What's more, though, is that she wanted to live long enough to see her daughter blow out eighty candles on her birthday. And so, from the day her daughter was born, Marta fretted about what she and her family were eating. Smoothies, goji berries, flax seeds, organic fruits and vegetables. She fasted (and urged her husband to), considered keto, and ran a half-marathon.
But then, Marta Zaraska, a science journalist, found scientific papers that shattered her long-held beliefs about aging and longevity. It turns out that, according to research, diet and exercise are not the most important things to work on to encourage your family's longevity--or your own. Instead, you should be concentrating on your social life and the kind of person you are, psychologically-speaking. Marta learned that a strong support network of family and friends lowers mortality risk by about 50 percent while exercise can lower that risk by 23 to 33 percent. She found that volunteering your free time is a foolproof way to lower your mortality rate by 22 percent, while certain health fads like turmeric haven't been shown to lower your mortality rate at all. Many more examples like this led Marta to her ultimate conclusion: you should be contemplating your purpose in life, not the best fitness tracker to buy.
In Growing Young, Marta demonstrates that sociality and thought patterns--in combination with diet and exercise--matter the most. Through ten chapters that take her around the world, from the UK to Japan, from laboratories to "hugging centres," Marta investigates the various longevity lifestyles of different cultures in the hopes of prioritizing the longevity habits that will makes the most impact in our lives.
Deeply researched and expertly reported, Growing Young will dramatically change the way you seek a longer, happier life.
Marta Zaraska is a Canadian-Polish science journalist. She has written about nutrition and psychology for the Washington Post, Scientific American, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, New Scientist, and several other publications. She is the author of Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat (Basic Books, 2016), which has been translated into Japanese and Polish, and chosen by the journal Nature as one of "the best science picks" in March 2016. Meathooked has also been praised in The Wall Street Journal, Discover Magazine, Time, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Natural History Magazine, etc. She has also contributed a chapter to the recently published The Reducetarian Solution (TarcherPerigee, 2017) alongside Mark Bittman, Michael Shermer, and Peter Singer.