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Are We Acting Our Age?

May 11, 2008
As baby boomers lose their boom, anti-aging is becoming big business. Baby boomers were born during the post WWII years of 1946 to 1966. Now, as baby boomers slow down, they're speeding up their search for the fountain of youth.

We all want to look younger. We try skin products, treatments and surgeries; but eventually we look in the mirror and realize that the fountain of youth is really a wishing well.

Pharmaceutical companies sell youth in bottles, jars and tubes. Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Revlon combined have invested $100 million in skin care products - but American companies aren't alone. Beierodorf, a German company, had a 21% increase in its sale of anti-aging products and Jade Pharmaceuticals, a Chinese company, is expecting to make $24 million in the first year of marketing its injectible, age-fighting treatment. Obviously, what baby boomers see as fine lines pharmaceutical companies see as fine line items.

As concerns about Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia grow, more Americans are using expensive and possibly dangerous supplements that claim to enhance memory. According to experts at the Institute of Brain Aging and Dementia, that's not necessary. We may have memory enhancers in our refrigerators. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants, which protect cells from being damaged by oxidation and inflammation. A study done by the Institute found that participants who ate an oxidant-rich diet for several years were much better at performing certain tasks than those on a normal diet. Of course, the participants in the study were beagles; but if dogs can learn new tricks, so can we.

The University of Chicago did a study in which 28 thousand people between the ages of 18 and 88 were interviewed over a 32-year period. What the researchers discovered was the oldest Americans were the happiest. In fact, the odds of being happy increased 5% with every 10 years of age. These findings were attributed to older Americans being better able to accept that life isn't perfect. Maybe older Americans are old enough to know better.

Finally, according to a U.S. Government report, the number of older Americans will more than double to 70 million by 2030 - that's 1 in every 5 Americans. The same report said the net worth of people 65 and older has increased 80%. I think what the government is saying is Americans are getting older AND better.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
Take a minute to make yourself smile at
http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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