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December 14, 2010


Chris G.

Truly a scientific pioneer.

If the sample diet is comprehensive, it seems he barely got 4 fruits/veggie serving per day, ate inflammatory, high omega 6 foods he (dairy, meats, corn oil, cookies), had a cholesterol which exceeded 200, and lived to 100 yrs old. Good genes for this good scientist. It would seem Richard Holbrooke (69) or my grandfather (dead of a heart attack at 49) were not as fortunate. This emphasizes the large unknown in the 'healthy, long life' equation: Genetic predisposition to disease (heart/artery issues, cancers, etc).


And Keys and wife were fairly healthy up until their ends?

There are some significant differences between 1961 and now, don't you think? My family and I have recently been reviewing family photos from the early '60s and everyone remarks on how comparatively slim the people in large scene photos look, for instance at a boy scout picnic. Today you would not find that many people at a healthy weight at such a function. The sheer numbers of overweight people have to influence health care costs as well.

Ken Leebow

As always, thanks for your interesting post!

Fat in our diet can be confusing and sadly, has been used as a marketing ploy. I like to use Dr. David L. Katz's observation: "As a population, we cut dietary fat in a rather dysfunctional way, and we grew even fatter."

By way of example, in my presentations, I use the following low fat peanut butter example:

Unfortunately, it can be applied to most "low fat" products. Next time you walk into the "healthy" yogurt store observe all the "low fat" choices.

Again, thanks for all the great info. and happy and healthy new year to you.

Ken Leebow


Thank you for this topic. I enjoyed reading about the man who conducted the Seven Countries Study. He was truly a pioneer in the field.

With regard to his health, I learned the following from the link below. He lived until 2 months shy of his 101st birthday. He spent part of each year of his retirement living in Italy. However during the last few years of his life, several strokes and a broken hip kept him in Minneapolis. Check out the photo and story at


There is a photo of Ancel Keys taken when he was 100 at

Andrea Reiman

Ohmygosh! The photos that compare Jack LaLanne at age 93 and Ancel Keys at 100 (see link above) are hugely informative! My take home message is that there may be some of us that get lucky with certain genetics regarding diet - and can be more moderate - but NONE of us can ignore the importance of vigorous exercise. Whenever I'm tempted to skip a workout, this is the new picture in my mind's eye I will carry!

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