Eat, Drink, Be Merry, Live Longer


Here’s some excellent news for all who are spending the next two weeks in a holiday haze, sated on a hearty diet of gingerbread coffee, red wine, and chocolate cake: you can eat, drink, and be merry for many more holiday seasons to come.

Since 2003, researchers at UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders have been studying people who live past 90 years of age. Among these traits, ABC 7 reports that researchers have found that people who drink “moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee” lived longer than people who didn’t drink at all, and that people who were overweight in their 70s lived “longer than normal or underweight people did.” More than 1,600 people have enrolled in the study.

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Dr Claudia Kawas, one of the study’s researchers, said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference last February.

This certainly doesn’t mean that indulging your every culinary whim guarantees you a long life, nor does it mean that those hangovers are actually good for your health (and exercise remains essential to good health), but you are free to do with this information whatever you’d like. Personally, I will take it as a sign that good food and drink are essential to happy living, and that goes doubly so for the holidays.

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