When Brandon McCarthy asked Twitter users whether they agree that people in the past aged faster, he didn't know he was opening Pandora's box. But what's done is done. Everyone immediately started posting pictures that support this theory, and they haven't stopped yet.
We're talking 24-year-old soccer players who look like they're going to break in half when they kick the ball, young moms and dads who could pass off as great-grandparents... Heck, someone even included Pablo Escobar in the collection. Continue scrolling and check out the most important evolutionary discovery of our age for yourself!
It's true, people age at different rates. Now, the attention is on what can we do about it. A geriatric epidemiologist and Canada Research Chair in Geroscience at McMaster University, Parminder Raina is leading the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), one of the largest and most in-depth studies on health and aging ever.
Its aim is to understand the factors that influence how we age and find ways to slow down, cure or even prevent age-related diseases.
"We now have more centenarians than ever before, and not all of them are senile and functionally dependent," Raina said. "Many live very full lives."
According to him, understanding how we age, why we each age differently, and what causes disease and disability as we rack up the years is critical to developing programs and interventions that will promote independent and healthy living for as long as possible.
With a team of more than 160 researchers and contributors, the CLSA is following over 50,000 randomly selected men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 over a 20-year period to understand why some people live longer than others. The biggest funders of this project are the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and other participating provinces.
"We know that the changes in our body that come with aging represent a common risk factor for disease," Raina said. "What we learn from this could tell us a lot about how chronic inflammation is linked to cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease; how responses to stress can accelerate aging and risk of disease; how work history and wealth contribute to our health and well-being; and more."
What a time to be alive! Now all we have to do is stick around until we get the results and who knows, maybe you and I will be able to add a few extra birthdays to our calendars.