Today a sponsored article appeared on my Facebook feed entitled “15 All Natural Ways to Stay Young Forever.” Sponsored by Medical-News.org, it has 3,120 shares and 7,700 comments.
The author is Simi. Just Simi, like Madonna or Cher. A search for his/her bio on medical-news.org came up with nothing. Is the author a robot, a teenager sitting in a cubicle or a true medical professional?
Articles like this infuriate me. They perpetuate a myth that people want to stay young forever AND that if you follow Simi’s recommendations, you will. I conduct scientific research on aging on a daily basis. Spewing this bullshit as science is maddening.
The article was not entirely full of crap. Yes, water, fruits and vegetables are good for you and coconut oil feels great and smells divine. Protect your skin from the sun – really? Tell me something I don’t know.
I have nothing against facial yoga. But claiming “it’s benefits are the same as facelift surgery” may be a reach.
“Sweat is not good for the skin.” Are we worrying that our increasingly sedentary and morbidly obese population is sweating too much? People don’t sweat enough. Sweat rids the body of toxins. It protects the body from overheating like a brilliant homeostatic machine. On the contrary, try to work up a sweat every day.
Sleeping on your back with two pillows is recommended in the article. Actually sleeping with no pillows elongates the neck that is tipped forward most of the day. Benefits of sleeping on the left side are well documented in medical literature for digestion. Sleeping on your back may double the risk of sleep apnea. Just keep it simple and get enough sleep, in any position that’s right for your body.
Running a marathon as a way to stay young forever is an unrealistic goal for the average reader. Just move, every chance you can. Park far away. Do Kegel exercises.
“Staying young involves many things to be achieved but the easiest one is ensuring that you avoid stress.” Even if I could forgive the clumsy syntax, this advice is useless. Who, in the evolution of the animal kingdom, has succeeded in avoiding stress? What matters is how we cope with it.
Shaving made the cut, no pun intended. It “enables the skin to be conspicuous.” Is that really medical news?
The article recommends drinking green tea at night to calm down and improve sleep. Green tea has great health benefits but it contains caffeine and is obviously not a beverage for bedtime. This is health 101 – no caffeine at night.
We live in a youth-obsessed culture that places merit on superficiality and physical attractiveness rather than deeper values like wisdom, experience and graceful aging. Don’t get sucked in by the promise of a simple fix. Be smart and skeptical. Always check credentials of the author – is this person qualified to write about medicine?
Finally, don’t trust anyone who proposes natural ways to health without mentioning sex. Watch for my upcoming article, Sex and Longevity – How to Make your Heirs Angry.