By Christy Barritt
Sixty is the New Middle Age
A new study says that 60—not 50—is the new middle age.
Researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Stony Brook University have been researching age using projections of Europe’s population until the year 2050. Though conventional definitions considered people over age 65 old, the new research is advancing the threshold as overall life expectancy grows.
“Someone who is 60 years old today, I would argue is middle-aged,” said the study’s lead author Sergei Scherbov in a release. “Two hundred years ago, a 60-year-old would be a very old person.”
Americans are living longer than ever. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention found that in 2012 the U.S. life expectancy reached a record high of 78.8 years. Death rates have also fallen 1.1 percent since 2011.
Restaurant Owner Leaves Note for Dumpster Diver
An Oklahoma restaurant owner, upon realizing that someone was digging through her trash looking for food, posted fliers promising a free meal with no questions asked in her eating establishment to the person searching for sustenance.
Ashley Jiron, owner of the sandwich shop P. B. Jams in Warr Acres, hated to think that someone was desperate enough to eat food out of the dumpster behind her restaurant. She wanted to do something about it.
Her note said, “You’re a human being and worth more than a meal from a dumpster. Please come in during operating hours for a classic Pb&j, fresh veggies, and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked.” To date, the person has not taken Jiron up on her offer, but the restaurant owner has vowed to leave the notes up until he or she does.
Time Between Pregnancies
For U.S. moms, the typical time between pregnancies is about 2.5 years. This is according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report is based on 2011 birth certificates from 36 states and the District of Columbia—the numbers represented about 83 percent of the nation’s births that year.
The study found that about 30 percent of women who’d had a child became pregnant again within 18 months. Caucasian women had the shortest spacing—about 2 years and 2 months on average. African American and Hispanic women typically waited 2.5 years or longer.
According to researchers, this is too soon. Experts said mothers should wait at least that amount of time before becoming pregnant again to give their bodies time to recover and to increase the chances that the next child is full-term and healthy.
This was the first time the CDC had done a study of the sort, so researchers have no record if pregnancy spacing has changed over time.
Driving Trends in America
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute released a new study tracking trends in American driving habits. They found that, on average, Americans drive 29.2 miles per day, making two trips with a total duration of 46 minutes. This means that motorists are on the roads for 10,658 miles per year. They also found that women take more driving trips, but men spend 25 percent more time behind the wheel and drive 35 percent more miles than women.
Both teenagers and seniors over the age of 75 drive less than any other age groups. Motorists 30-49 years old drive an average of 13,140 miles annually, more than any other age group. Other results showed that people drive more during the week than on weekends, they drive less in the winter and most in the summer, and that drivers living either in the country or in a small town drive greater distances.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband, Scott, have two sons (christybarritt.com).