The average American feels old for the first time at age 47, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 Americans over the age of 40 found the average respondent starts to actually worry about the effects of aging at age 50.
In fact, 65% of people surveyed said one of their biggest fears is aging and getting older.
Nearly half of Americans ranked a decline in cognitive function as their biggest aging-related fear.
Furthermore, 64% said they are concerned their mind or normal cognitive function won’t last as long as their physical health.
Outward perception of old age or aging is less important for most, with only one in four worried about losing their youthful looks, and another 25% fearful of becoming uncool and no longer in tune with what’s “hip.”
Commissioned by Elysium Health and conducted by OnePoll, the survey also found 56% of Americans actively worry about their brain health.
And it may be for good reason, as nearly half of those surveyed said they have a family history of age-related memory loss.
In fact, nearly 66% of those polled freely admit their memory is not quite what it was when they were younger.
One in four reported that they lose their train of thought at least once per day with one in five saying it happens multiple times per day.
Fifty-eight percent of those polled said their memory can be so bad that they forget somebody’s name just seconds after meeting them, with 38% saying they don’t even recall their partner’s birthday off the top of their head.
And while Americans appear to be aware of how their memory is going by the wayside as they age, 84% of those surveyed said they are doing nothing at all to support their brain health.
“While more than half of respondents correctly identified that excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and lack of sleep all accelerate the rate of brain volume loss that occurs as we age, only 41% thought that poor eating habits would also have an impact,” said Elysium Health CEO Eric Marcotulli.
“Unfortunately, it is not surprising that most people do not associate dietary choices with long-term brain health. Despite the general understanding that omega-3s are good for brain health, 80% of Americans do not get the two weekly servings of fatty fish recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
Given the factors that can make matters worse when it comes to age-related learning and memory problems, changes in behavior as a result of the pandemic may have a significant impact.
Since March, 38% of those polled said they’ve been getting a lot less quality sleep or less sleep in general than they did in the pre-quarantine days.
Over one in four said the pandemic has led them to eat a less healthy diet, and 14% have been drinking more alcohol.
“It’s not common knowledge that our brains atrophy as we age, nor is it widely discussed that this loss of volume is associated with cognitive decline,” said Elysium Health CEO Eric Marcotulli. “So it’s no wonder that 84% of Americans surveyed reported doing nothing to support their long-term brain health. With new information, hopefully, that can change.
“Elysium recently launched a brain health supplement in partnership with the University of Oxford to address this issue. We created Matter to empower people with a product backed by human clinical research that is easily incorporated into their daily routines to support long-term brain health.”
THINGS AMERICANS FEAR ABOUT AGING
Decline in physical function or abilities 53%
Decline in cognitive function 49%
Losing my edge 25%
Decline in appearance or attractiveness 26%
Decline in energy and overall mood 24%
Losing loved ones 18%
THINGS AMERICANS LOOK FORWARD TO ABOUT AGING
Relaxing and spending more time with my family 49%
Starting my second act 38%
Retiring and traveling more 34%
Being more advanced in my career 28%
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