Why people used to look older: scientists explain the phenomenon
How many times, leafing through old family photo albums or watching black and white movies, have you caught yourself thinking that the people in these shots look much older than their modern peers? Why is this so?
According to IFL Science, blogger Michael Stevens and host of the educational Youtube channel Vsauce, a whole list of factors that could influence this process.
According to his findings, the rate of human aging has actually changed over the past 100 years due to increases in overall wealth, better health care and lifestyle choices. Of course, all of these are not the same in different parts of the world between people with different incomes and jobs. But the universal trend can be seen quite clearly.
This topic was also studied by a team of researchers who published their findings in 2018. They analyzed the changes associated with biological aging, such as blood pressure and lung function scores as a function of chronological age between 1988 and 2010. It turned out that even over this rather short interval, the differences were significant. Those born later aged more slowly than their predecessors at a similar age. "Over the past 20 years, the biological age of the U.S. population appears to have decreased for men and women across the age range," the authors of the paper noted.
They noted, however, that the degree of change was not equal for men and women or across ages. Young men, for example, showed a more marked slowing of aging compared with young women. This may explain why mortality at young ages is more likely to decline specifically for men than for women. The improvements were also greater for older people than for younger ones.
The study focused on lifestyle factors such as smoking, which partly explains why the gap between the biological ages of men and women narrowed: men smoked less, while women were almost equalized with them on this measure. Taking medication to improve health also had an impact.
But many factors still passed the researchers' attention. For example, they were unable to test improvements in early life and pre-birth conditions, as well as a reduction in the incidence of infectious diseases. While these factors may play a role in revealing why people from the past look older to us, that's not all.
According to Vsauce blogger, an important factor along with better dental care and sunscreen use may be triggering our prejudice against the fashions of previous decades. We often psychologically associate these things with older age. This can be explained with the example of the shirt your father has conventionally worn since 1972. We retroactively associate it with old age, even when we look at photos of objectively young people from 1972 wearing the same shirt.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL shared the fact that scientists have revealed an important secret of people's attractiveness.