harmful choices


Why I won’t test myself for the Alzheimer’s gene

A recent survey of 1200 adults found that Alzheimer ’s disease (AD) is the most feared disease among older Americans, with 44% identifying it as their biggest worry. Cancer was second, with 33% fearing it most. Over 65ers will not be surprised by these findings. Given the high level of fear, it’s natural and inevitable […]

Income and Life Expectancy

Today’s New York Times has an excellent article on income and longevity that compares Fairfax County, Virginia, to McDowell County, West Virginia. In Fairfax, median household income is $107,000. In McDowell it’s about one-fifth of that. In Fairfax, the average life expectancy for men is 82. For women it’s 85. In McDowell, the comparable life […]

Too Old to Drive?

On February 25, 1983, my mother drove out of the parking area behind the apartment building in Florida where she and my father lived. She suffered from gradual cognitive decline and should not have been driving. She didn’t notice an oncoming car and pulled in front of it. There was no initial sign of injury, […]

Aging, Weight Gain, and Weight Loss

Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity are smoking’s close cousins in preventable causes of mortality, leading to over 300,000 deaths annually.  The societal costs of these conditions* may be as high as $400 billion per year.  Therefore, upon reading the May 6 blog post from Sissela Bok and the May 20 post from Steven Schroeder, it […]

Response to Unreasonable Health Choices: Smoking cigarettes over age 65

In her May 6 post about “Unreasonable Health Choices,” Sissela Bok poses the question of why people make unreasonable choices, using cigarette smoking as one example, since everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health.  In fact, during our lifetimes we have witnessed a revolution regarding attitudes and practices of smoking.  When I was […]

Unreasonable Health Choices

Long before reaching 65, most people know all too well the costs of decades of going against their own best interests by engaging in practices they knew carried risks for their health – as with smoking or overeating. In at least some respects, they resonate to Oscar Wilde’s “I can resist everything except temptation.” Even […]