Sounds like a pretty strong statement? I cannot make it any clearer that the decisions our children make today will pave the way for health or disease in their later years.

It should also be clear by now that the fastest way to an early grave is by taking in too many calories. Calorie restriction without nutrient restriction is the key to longevity and avoiding all chronic diseases. So how can we tell how well we’re doing with our lifestyles?

There really isn’t a single marker that can measure longevity, but there are a few that correlate very, very strongly with long term health and longevity. One of these is telomere length.  What are telomeres, you ask? Consider them as the wick on the end of the DNA of our cells. When this wick burns down, that’s it. The cell is no more. So, the longer the telomere on the end of our DNA, the longer that cell is going to live and, by extension, the longer you are going to live.

This particular article finds that higher caloric intake in teens led to a shorter telomere length in their white blood cells. Not a good thing. And we don’t get these telomeres back–once they are shortened they’re shortened for life.

Consider that the next time the Mcdonald’s drive thru seems like the “only” option.

So what else has been shown to lower telomere length?

  1. Multivitamin use has shown to lead to longer telomeres
  2. A pro diabetic lifestyle shortens our telomeres
  3. Stress shortens telomere length
  4. Overweight children have shorter telomeres
  5. Childhood abuse (emotional, nutritional or physical) shortens telomeres
  6. Omega 3 fatty acids lead to longer telomeres

Overall, you can see that the everyday decisions we make as parents for our children have a direct impact on their longevity. Decide well or they will pay the price.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.