Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 16th, 2012

Simply dying of old age in ROSETO (Pennsylvania): Health is rooted in community life-style?

In the 1950’s, as the US citizens were dying like flies from heart attacks, blood pressure…and cancer way before reaching 50 of age, a rumor spread in the medical community that people in the town of Roseto(Pennsylvania) were simply dying of old age, and even males didn’t suffer any major heart problems before the age of 65.

A team of physicians from Oklahoma decided to investigate this health mystery: They converged for two summers and in extended holidays to Roseto, and set their headquarter in the municipal main room, along with all their medical testing equipments…

The first factor that comes to mind is: “Hum…Most probably it is the diet custom of this “healthy” community? Maybe this unorthodox community is still attached to the diet of their original town of Roseto in Italy?”  This Italian community of 1,200 inhabitants, with many industries, have immigrated less than a century ago, with successive waves, joining their relatives in the town of Bangor (Pennsylvania) where they exploited and worked in the nearby quarry, as they did in Italy. 

After a thorough blood and other physical tests and inquiry of most of the community members, the team of doctors discovered that the people had reverted to the “normal” US diet habits.  Actually, their energy was mostly generated from the over 40% in fat in their metabolic system.  Worse, they smoked and drank as the good normal Americans!

The next question was: “Hum…may be it is in the gene…let us go to Italy and bring samples…”  The medical team from Oklahoma visited a few other Italian communities in the USA, originating from Roseto (Italy).  Surprise.  The other Italian communities death trends were as bad as the average US communities.

The third factor to investigate was: “Hum…maybe it is the environment around Roseto that aiding this community into exacerbating longevity trend…?”  The medical team investigated the neighboring communities around Roseto, like Bangor and the vicinities.  Total failure. The surrounding communities were dying like flies before the age of 55.

The medical team had to fall back and study the community life-style.  This community had 22 public organizations, they spent an enormous amount of time chatting with community members they met on the streets, they contributed in gardening the neighborhood lots, in engaging into community cooking, and throwing plenty of celebration occasions to getting together.

Worse, the well-to-do families were prohibited to flaunt their wealth status, and they had to contribute more to the community facilities and standard of living.  There was no joblessness, and available work were found for the so many able bodies…

Health must be rooted in community life-style, aiding one another, establishing community facilities, and keeping anxiety, depression, and the concept of “you are on your own” at bay…

Yes, it takes a community to caring for children, for the aged, for the handicapped, for the needy…

Note:  Post inspired by a chapter in “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell




January 2012

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