Monday, November 19, 2007

Having more than three children helps men live longer

Hey Men! Would you like to live till a hundred? There are some obvious things to do. You need to eat well, exercise and take care of your self.

A study led by Leonid Gavrilov found a surprising result:

"Both farming and having large number of children (4+) at age 30 significantly increased the chances of exceptional longevity by 100-200%."

The Chicago Center on Aging reviewed The World War I Draft Registration Cards. HealthDay reports:

"From 1917 to 1918, almost all adult males aged 46 or under were required by law to fill out these cards, which asked them to detail a number of physical and social attributes."

With the data based on these draft cards the study found a dramatic connection between having children and living to a hundred.

I wonder what connection is between men having lots of children and living longer? My first guess would have been the opposite way. The more children we had, the more worn out I felt.

One thought came to me after reading the article is that as we've had more children I've felt a greater responsibility to take care of myself so I can take care of my family. I use to go rock climbing in my twenties, but once I got married I stopped. I started eating better. It used to be that I often had seconds on desert. Now I'll go light or even skip desert.

(Hat tip:

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Queen of Carrots said...

Hmm, but how long did their wives live? ;-)

I should read this to my husband to encourage him, although--unless we have twins--he's unlikely to get more than three before thirty. Perhaps it's not a hard-and-fast cut-off, though.

AnnMarie said...

Perhaps, and this is just a guess of course, it's because at that time our country, more kids meant a higher income. Whether in a city or on a famr, kids contributed to the family income. In cities, many kids were working, in factories quite often, by the time they were 12. On farms and in family businesses, the more kids, the more help you have at the income production. These days, kids are considered (economically speaking) a liability because they cost us money to raise to adulthood. Back then, they were an asset.

Oh, so the point is--the higher the income, the better the health of a family because they can eat more, living in better conditions, and get more health care. Thus, the more likely you are to reach 100. Of course, there's isn't a complete correlation here, but, generally speaking, I could see a connection.