How/Why Do People Age Slower Now As Opposed To In The ‘80’s Or So?


I’ve read quality of life plays a factor but there was no further definitions for the more smooth-brained persons like myself

In: 1

One big factor is smoking. People used to smoke everywhere, all the time. Smoking in pubs and clubs, restaurants, TV studios, hospitals…. All that smoke, even if you were “only” getting second-hand smoke, makes you look older.

Another thing to consider is sunscreen. Back in the 90s, I think the highest factor you could get was SPF 15. Now it’s standard to have SPF50! Again, sun damage ages your skin prematurely. If you know what to look for, you can spot an Aussie pretty much anywhere, because of the accumulated sun damage we acquire over our lives.

There are multiple factors, which also depend on where you are from and how much money you have:

1 – Advances in medicine. People in the US now routinely have major procedures like knee and hip replacements which increase their ability to stay fit for longer. So many OTC drugs and vitamins are available now to ease pain, give you energy, and so many other things. My grandfather died from a heart attack in 1979 at age 56, and my father had a triple bypass at age 55 and is still here 11 years later.

2 – Fewer people smoke cigarettes now than in the past, and you can no longer smoke in 95% of places in the US. I was born in 1991 and I still remember a few restaurants with smoking and non-smoking sections – but it all smelled like cigarettes. (Gross.) Vaping is turning into its’ own terrible thing, but it’s very different from cigarettes.

3 – Exercise is more prevalent/normalized. In the past, “exercise” meant playing a sport, jogging (which only caught on in US in the 70s/80s), or going to a gym (which were usually specialized by sport – like boxing or weightlifting). Now there’s at least two Planet Fitness locations in every town, and tons of people do yoga or zumba at home.

They don’t. Life expectancy hasn’t increased meaningfully since then. It’s actually been going down recently.

They do not…. As somebody else already beat me to, life expectancy is pretty similar between eras.

VSauce has a good video about this. Basically, old people looking old is largely because they never changed their fashion, hairstyles, etc.

Basically take a millenial…. Put them in the fashion of the 80’s and they’ll look old AF. Dress them up like Gen Z they’ll appear young and vibrant.

We don’t age slower, we just don’t die as early from things like heart attacks, strokes and infectious diseases. Life expectancy is not the same as aging slower, it just means on average people dont die as young.

The maximum lifespan of humans has actually not changed, there were 100 year olds in the 1980’s and in the 1700s (for a more extreme example) just as there are 100 year olds now. The difference is back in the 1700’s roughly one third of population would die before age 1 and many more would die before reaching adulthood. Then in their 40’s/50’s/60’s etc. there were no good interventions for heart disease, stokes etc. Reductions in childhood mortality make up most of the improvement in life expectancy.

Today we vaccinate children so they don’t die in their first year, we have antibiotics, better nutrition etc to prevent other childhood diseases. We have blood pressure and cholesterol medications (which were just being invented in the 80’s) to prevent heart disease and we can literally bring people back to life after they have heart attacks. Odds are you know someone who has a cardiac stent or a pacemaker or defibrillator implant. That person didn’t age any slower but they are alive today thanks to that technology, in the 1700s they would have died.