If you want to live to 90, the secret might not be to eat lettuce, take up meditations and do a juice cleanse every fortnight.
Instead, ‘super agers’ – people who live beyond 90 – seem to enjoy booze daily, put on (a bit) of weight, and swill down coffee daily too.
Dr Claudia Kawas of the University of California identified five lifestyle factors associated with living to over 90: having hobbies, doing exercise, drinking one or two glasses of wine or beer a day, being slightly overweight, and drinking coffee.
Dr Kawas said, ‘I almost think we should stop doing research and just start using our bodies and brains more.
‘These people are inspiring – they drink wine, drink coffee, gain weight, but they exercise and use their brains. Maybe that can tell us something.’
Dr Kawas analysed data from the ‘90+’ study, which tracked 1,700 people in their 90s in 2003.
Dr Kawas found that people who had roughly two glasses of beer or wine per day had an 18% reduced risk of premature death.
Spending at least two hours a day on a hobby reduced risk by 21%, and taking 15-45 minutes of moderate exercise lowered risk by 11%.
Drinking two cups of coffee a day lowered the risk by 10%.
Dr Kawas said, ‘I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.’