Secrets to a Long Life, According to People Who Lived to 100

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Misao Okawa was the world’s oldest living person until her death at age 117 in 2015. “Eating delicious things is a key to my longevity,” she said.

Misao Okawa celebrating her 115 birthday.

Misao Okawa celebrating her 115 birthday.

Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Misao Okawa was born in 1898 in Japan. Japan has the most centenarians in the world. According to the Japan Times, in 2018, the country had 69,785 people over 100, nearly 90% of whom were women.

In 2014, Guinness World Records recognized Okawa as the world’s oldest living person. She cited eating sushi and getting a good night’s sleep as the reasons for her long life.



Emma Morano was the world’s oldest living person from 2016 until her death at age 117 in 2017. She ate two raw eggs a day and loved cookies.

Emma Morano in Verbania, Italy, in 2016.

Emma Morano in Verbania, Italy, in 2016.

Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Morano was born on 29 November, 1899, in the Piedmont region of Italy. She told the BBC that she believed her long life was partly due to genetics, but she also ate a diet of three eggs a day, two of them raw, for more than 90 years.

Morano didn’t have an easy life — her only son died at just 6 months old, and she had an abusive marriage. She believed leaving her marriage in 1938 contributed to her longevity. She told the New York Times, “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.”

Morano was alive in three centuries, and before her death on April 15, 2017, she was believed to be the last living person born in the 19th century.

116-year-old Gertrude Weaver said her secret to long life was kindness. “Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you,” she said.

Gertrude Weaver in Camden, Arkansas, on July 3, 2014.

Gertrude Weaver in Camden, Arkansas, on July 3, 2014.

Danny Johnston/AP Images

Weaver was the oldest living person in the United States from her 116th birthday on July 4, 2014, until her death in her home state of Arkansas in April 2015. She was also the world’s oldest living person for less than a week before her death. 

She told Time that her secret to long life was kindness, but she also attributed it to not drinking or smoking, and getting plenty of sleep. Additionally, she didn’t have any chronic health conditions, a rarity for people of her age. 

At 109, Jessie Gallan was Scotland’s oldest living person. Her secret to long life was avoiding men. “They’re just more trouble than they’re worth,” she said.

jessie gallan

Jessie Gallan was Scotland’s oldest resident.

STV News

Gallan was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1906, and died in March, 2015, at age 109. 

In an interview with STV News, she said, “I also made sure that I got plenty of exercise, ate a nice warm bowl of porridge every morning, and have never gotten married.”

Alexander Imich was a Holocaust survivor and the world’s oldest man before his death in June 2014. He credited his longevity to “good genes” and exercise.

Alexander Imich at his home in New York City on May 9, 2014.

Alexander Imich at his home in New York City on May 9, 2014.

Mike Segar/Reuters

Imich was born in Poland on February 4, 1903. He moved to the United States in 1951 after surviving the Holocaust and a Soviet gulag. 

He told the New York Times that he believed his long life came down to genetics and exercise. “I was a gymnast. Good runner, a good springer. Good javelin, and I was a good swimmer,” he said. He also never drank alcohol, which he believed was another contributing factor. 

He was given the title of world’s oldest man by Guinness World Records at 111 years old on May 8, 2014, and held the title until his death on June 8, 2014.


Duranord Veillard lived to 111, and was married for over 80 years. He credited healthy eating and doing five to seven push-ups daily.

Duranord Veillard at his home in New Jersey.

Duranord Veillard at his home in Rockland County, New York.

Lohud News

Veillard was born on February 28, 1907, in Haiti. He was married in 1932, and he and his wife, Jeanne, moved to the United States in 1968. 

USA Today interviewed the Veillards, one of the oldest living couples, in 2015. At the time, Jeanne was almost 105 and Duranord was about to celebrate his 108th birthday.

He told USA today that his secret was waking up early each day to do “five to seven” push-ups before eating a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and fresh fruit. The couple would also have fish and vegetables for lunch and dinner. 

Duranord died at age 111 in June 2018, and Jeanne died just a few months later, in November of that year, at age 108.

Jeralean Talley was the world’s oldest person before her death in 2015. She said that her faith and pork helped her reach such an old age.

Jeralean Talley at the Ford Freedom Awards in 2015.

Jeralean Talley at the Ford Freedom Awards in 2015.

Monica Morgan/WireImage/Getty Images

Jeralean Talley was born in Montrose, Georgia, in 1899. She moved to Michigan in the 1930s, where she spent the rest of her life until she passed on June 17, 2015. 

According to USA Today, Talley was very religious, and her friends and family said she lived by the motto treat people how you want to be treated.

She told Time that her secret to a long life included her devout faith, as well as a diet rich in pork, including pigs’ feet and ears.

Bernardo LaPallo lived beyond 100 and said “obedience and moderation” contributed to his long life. He also said rubbing his “body down with olive oil” and crossword puzzles kept him healthy.

Bernando LaPallo, right, greets Derek Jeter in 2013.

Bernando LaPallo, right, greets Derek Jeter in 2013.

Paul J. Bereswill/AP Images

Bernardo LaPallo’s family believe he was born on August 17, 1901, in Vitoria, Brazil. Both his parents lived long lives — his father reached 99 and mother lived to 105. He died on 19 December, 2015, at age 114.

LaPallo was known for his healthy lifestyle books, where he shared how he lived such a long and healthy life.

In an interview with National Geographic, he said, “My longevity is due to my obedience and moderation. I have based my life on following what my father told me.” He also said eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, going to bed early, and exercising kept him healthy. 

He also shared his daily routine: “I get up at 3:30 or 4 in the morning, go for my walk, take my shower, rub my body down with olive oil, make my breakfast. Stress is a killer, my daddy told me that. It’s important to take time to relax and exercise your brain, such as by doing crossword puzzles.”

Jiroemon Kimura was the world’s oldest person until his death in 2013. His slogan was “eat less and live long.” He also kept sharp by reading the news daily.

Jiroemon Kimura celebrating being the oldest man in Japan in 2009.

Jiroemon Kimura celebrating being the oldest man in Japan in 2009.

The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

Jiroemon Kimura was born on April 19, 1897, in Kyoto, Japan. In 2012, at 115, he became the world’s oldest living person and held the title until his death on June 12, 2013.

In an interview with the Guardian, he said his secret to a long life was watching his food portion sizes, waking early in the day, and reading newspapers. 

He told Patch a few other ways he kept healthy for so long. “It’s important to make daily exercise a discipline,” he said. He also cited overcoming adversity as something that made him strong. “After every storm, peace always comes,” he said.

According to his documents, Mbah Gotho lived to be 146. He said he had “a long life because I have people that love me looking after me.”

Mbah Gotho at his home in Java, Indonesia, in 2016.

Mbah Gotho at his home in Java, Indonesia, in 2016.

Jefta Images/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

According to his papers and reportedly verified by the Indonesian government, Mbah Gotho was born in December 1870. However, the country only started recording births in 1900, so the topic remains up for debate.

Gotho told the BBC that his long life was due to his loving family. He was a heavy smoker until his death, and outlived four wives, 10 siblings, and all of his children.

Reaching 122, Jeanne Calment is officially recorded as the oldest person to have ever lived. She credited her long life to olive oil, cigarettes, chocolate, and wine.

Jeanne Calment in France in 1996.

Jeanne Calment in France in 1996.

Pascal Parrot/Sygma/Getty Images

Calment is believed to have been born in Arles, France, in 1875. However, some doubt has been cast on this date, as many researchers cite her age at the time of death as “statistically impossible.” Nevertheless, she remains the official oldest person to have lived.

According to the New Yorker, she smoked for most of her life, only quitting at 117, five years before her death. She also drank a glass of port every night. She also thoroughly enjoyed chocolate. Calment passed on August 4, 1997, of unknown causes.

Susannah Mushatt Jones was the world’s oldest person until her death in 2016. She swore by bacon as one of her secrets to longevity.

Susannah Mushatt Jones on her 113th birthday in 2012.

Susannah Mushatt Jones on her 113th birthday in 2012.

Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News/Getty Images

Jones was born on July 6, 1899, in Lowndes County, Alabama. She was the third of 11 children. She moved to New York in the 1920s, and although she never had any children, she remained very close with her siblings and their children.

According to Insider, at 115, Jones was still eating bacon and grits for breakfast, and she cited bacon as a food that helped her live a long life. She also ate a lot of fruit. Additionally, her niece said that she never drank, partied, or did drugs. 

However, more than anything, it was a loving family that kept Jones alive so long, as they cared for her and visited every Sunday.

Lesson Short Plan for 7 grade “Healthy Habits”

Posted in Healthy lifestyle


1-2 min


Greeting (date, weather, season,
month, day of the week, feeling)

(teacher elicits
previously learned tongue twisters)



Let’s remember some
English proverbs:

Health is above wealth.

Habit is a second nature.

pronounce the proverbs in chorus, then in turn.


Look at the pictures! What do you

What can make people fat?

What can make people strong?

What do you
think you would look like if you never got any

Who knows what does “couch potato”

right, it is “Healthy Habits”. During today’s lesson we should
learn how to live in a healthy style.

Teacher introduces students to lesson
objectives and descriptors:

Descriptors: A learner

  1. guess the theme of the lesson

  2. show or explain the key word of the

  3. identify 6 Healthy and 5 Unhealthy

  4. make Food pyramid in a group

  5. complete the grammar task correctly in
    A,B,C levels.

  6. Create 10 or
    more instructions of Healthy living.

Blackboard, chalk

Presentation in Power Point, interactive




1115 min

16-20 min

2127 min

2835 min


divide into 3 groups by choosing key word cards:

“Healthy Food”: (fruit, vegetables, grain bread, juice,

Team “Healthy Activity”: (swim, climb,
run, jump, walk)

“Healthy Lifestyle”: (diet, sleeping enough, no smoking, no drugs,
no alcohol)

2.Activating the vocabulary of the

Students discuss in groups and create
presentation for key words on their cards using their words, sounds
or motions. It is allowed to change the cards inside one group, but
each student represents only one word. The other groups should
guess what word it is.

3. Good Habits or Bad

Students are
given Worksheet #1 where they should classify Healthy and Unhealthy
habits into 2 columns.

1. You
should walk regularly.
2. You don’t need to eat fast food.
3. You mustn’t smoke.
4. You should feel happy.
5. You must eat grain bread and yoghurt.
6. You need to keep to diet.
7. You shouldn’t lay on a sofa all day long.
8. You mustn’t drink alcohol.
9. You need to breathe fresh air.
10. You must learn to relax.
11. You shouldn’t go to bed late.

After 5
minutes students exchange their Worksheets and check the answers
using Answer Key given on Active board in the way of peer
correction. Teacher provides feedback.

4. Practice using Modal

Teacher asks
students to remember modal verbs and she draws attention of
students to using modal verbs “must”, “should”, “have to”, “need”
and others. Students complete differentiated tasks




Teacher monitors their activity and
provides scaffold if needed.

completing the task students are given Answer Keys for

5. Making
a collage “Food pyramid”.
A teacher represents
the structure, content and purpose of a Food pyramid for healthy
living. Then learners analyze it in groups and design their own
Food pyramid. They cut out pictures from grocery store
advertisement magazines and glue them making collage. The number of
items, accuracy, presentation are taken into

6. Create
for Healthy Living
on the poster.

analyze and create 10 or more instructions to perform activities
related to maintaining of healthy lifestyle on their posters.
Speakers represent their posters. The number of instructions and
accuracy are taken into consideration.

Teacher provides whole
class feedback about pyramids and posters.

Key word
cards: fruit, vegetables, grain bread, juice, yoghurt, swim, climb,
run, jump, walk, sleeping enough, diet, no smoking, no drugs, no

Students’ gestures,

Worksheet #1,

List of habits,


cards Exercises 1,2,3

Answer Keys 1,2,3


store advertisement magazines,






36-40 min


Reflection: cinquain.

Each group
of learners is asked to create a cinquain associated with the name
of their group.






2.useful, tasty, cook, grow

4.I like healthy food.


2.pleasant, fast

3.swim, run, jump

4.Morning exercises make my



2.healthy, happy

3.breath,live, smile

4.Choose the right lifestyle.


Learners do
according to
descriptors: learners put “+” or “–“ in front of the

Today I could …

  1. guess the theme of the lesson

  2. show or explain the key word of the

  3. identify 6 Healthy and 5 Unhealthy

  4. make Food pyramid in a group

  5. complete the grammar task correctly in
    A,B,C levels.

  6. create 10 or more
    instructions of Healthy living




Worksheet #3

Worksheet #4

More support:

-for guessing the theme
of the lesson is given by scaffolding questions about

What is above wealth
according to the English proverb? (Health)

What is our second nature?

Now use these two words to make
one expression.

-during group division
activity by questions:

Do you eat it? (Food)
Do you do it when you are active? (Activity) Do some people live in
this way? (Lifestyle)

-for demonstrating key words
learners are permitted to exchange their cards. So, someone can
give definitions, the others show with gestures.

-for choosing Good and
Bad habits draw attention of the learners to the Verb: Should we
follow this verb?- Yes(Good Habit)No(Bad Habit).

-for practicing grammar
learners are given support by task (differentiated Exercises

-during making Food pyramid
learners are shown a picture on Active Board from time to

-for making poster “Healthy
Living” to remind learners the list of HealthyUnhealthy

More able learners:

– for choosing Good and Bad
habits are asked to make some their own examples of
HealthyUnhealthy habits.

– for practicing
grammar might be asked to do all exercises.

– make presentations of
collage and poster

Learners are introduced to
Descriptors in the beginning of the lesson. They assess themselves
at the end.

In order to motivate learners
after each their answer a teacher assesses them in oral

-Nice of you!

-Try again!

-Well done!

Learners use their gestures and
motions to explain the key words.

Presentation of the lesson in
Power point on Active Board

Eating healthy before, during and after COVID-19 | FAO Stories | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

If there was ever a time that made us pay attention to our health, it has been this one of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has also made that clear that not everything in the world of health is under our control. However, many of us are lucky enough to have a say in one important element and that is what we eat. Healthy diets play an important role in our overall health and immune systems. The food we put in our bodies directly affects the way that we feel and the way our bodies function. This is as true during an illness as it is before or after.

Diets vary widely around the globe, influenced by access, incomes, habits and culture. Yet, there are some common truths about how to maintain a healthy diet regardless of where we live.

Here are 6 healthy eating habits and FAO resources to help you out:

1. Mix it up!

Eat a variety of foods within each and across all the food groups to ensure adequate intake of important nutrients. National food-based dietary guidelines can help you. FAO assists Member Countries to develop and implement food-based dietary guidelines in line with current scientific evidence. More than 100 countries worldwide have developed food-based dietary guidelines that are adapted to their population’s health situations, food availability, culinary cultures and eating habits. Find your country’s advice here.

2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables provide loads of vitamins and minerals as well as the fiber that we need for healthy diet. Minimally processed frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are a good choice for limiting your trips to the market or supermarket. However, be sure to pay attention to the ingredients. In the canning and processing of these products, sometimes sugar, salt or preservatives are added. In fact, 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Check out this story to expand your horizons about fruits and veggies you may never have heard of. You can also consult these FAO cookbooks to learn how to use them!

3. Take the pulse of the situation, be wholesome and go nuts!

Pulses, whole grains, nuts and healthy fats such as in olive, sesame, peanut or other unsaturated oils can support your immune system and help to reduce inflammation. Pulses, in particular, are environmentally friendly and a generally inexpensive source of protein. Beans, peas, lupins and other pulses are full of vitamins and minerals that, when part of an overall healthy diet, can help reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes and coronary conditions. Read all about the enormous variety of pulses and recipes to go with them in FAO’s Pulses Cookbook.

4. Limit fats, sugar and salt.

In times of high stress, many people turn to comfort food. Unfortunately, these are often high in fat, sugar, salt and calories, which as part of an unbalanced diet can over time affect your overall health. As a good habit, check the labels of all the foods you eat to learn about their ingredients and nutritional value. Food labels are there to help you limit the amount of certain ingredients or increase the levels of beneficial ones. Learn more about food labels and how to read them correctly in this story and this web page.

5. Practice good food hygiene.

Hygiene in all forms is particularly important in this time of pandemic. However, it is good to remember that COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. It is not a food-borne disease. Yet practicing food hygiene and safety is always important. Remember these five tips: (1) keep your hands, cooking utensils and cooking surfaces clean; (2) separate raw and cooked; (3) cook thoroughly; (4) keep food at safe temperatures and (5) use safe water. More details on food safety can be found can be found at this web site.

6. Be physically active and drink plenty of water.

Exercise is important for both our physical and mental health. Obesity and overweight have been significantly increasing in the last years. Particularly now, when people are staying at home more due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is important to find other ways of being active. You should aim for at least 30-60 minutes of daily exercise depending on your age and lifestyle. This children’s Nutrition activity book gives plenty of tips on how to help kids maintain a healthy lifestyle, from ideas on exercise to lessons on hygiene and food safety. FAO also has plenty of e-learning courses for adults if you want to learn more about the fascinating world of nutrition.

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the daily lives of people around the world, causing many people a lot of stress, sickness and pain. Amidst these difficulties and changes, it is all the more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Firstly, to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 infection and transmission, we all need to follow national rules and World Health Organization advice. Even with the introduction of a vaccine, these rules remain fundamental to help end the pandemic. Equally important, however, we need to take care of ourselves, and eating a healthy diet is one great way to do just that.

Learn more

Sleep for just six to seven hours a night to maximise heart health, study suggests

Posted in Healthy lifestyle
Too much or too little sleep may trigger inflammation that damages the heart. (Posed by a model, Getty Images)

Too much or too little sleep may trigger inflammation that damages the heart. (Posed by a model, Getty Images)

Aim for six to seven hours of sleep a night to maximise health health, a study has suggested.

The optimal amount of shut-eye has long been debated, with some people able to get by on less sleep than others.

The NHS recommends adults aim for six to nine hours of sleep a night, however, medics from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have suggested six to seven hours may be the sweet spot when it comes to heart health.

Although more research is needed, it seems too much or too little sleep may trigger inflammation that damages the heart.

Read more: iPhone’s ‘Night Shift’ does not help users sleep

Unlike a person’s age or genetics, sleep is somewhat controllable, allowing people to actively reduce their heart disease risk, according to the medics.

elder heart attack chest paint for background with space for text

More than one in four people die of heart disease in the UK alone. (Stock, Getty Images)

“Sleep is often overlooked as something that may play a role in cardiovascular disease and it may be among the most cost-effective ways to lower cardiovascular risk,” said lead author Dr Kartik Gupta. 

“Based on our data, sleeping six to seven hours a night is associated with more favourable heart health.”

Read more: Spouse with heart disease may double your risk

Heart disease is behind more than one in four deaths in the UK alone.

Not smoking, eating well and exercising regularly are known to ward off cardiovascular complications, however, the role of sleep was less clear.

To learn more, the Detroit medics analysed over 14,000 participants – average age 46 – of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 

Less than 10% of the participants had experienced heart disease before the study.

The participants were divided into groups based on the amount of sleep they claimed to average each night.

The medics also assessed the participants’ so-called atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk score.

This calculates how likely someone is to have a heart attack or stroke, or die from hardening of the arteries, over the next 10 years. It takes into account the individual’s age, sex, ethnicity, blood pressure and cholesterol.

A score of less than 5% is considered low risk.

Overall, the participants’ ASCVD score averaged at 3.5%, as presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 70th annual scientific session.

Nevertheless, there was a U-shaped relationship between a patient’s score and their sleep duration, with six to seven hours being the lowest risk.

Read more: Student develops ‘severe’ heart failure after excessive energy drink consumption

Over the next 10 years, the participants’ estimated ASCVD score was 3.3% among those who had six to seven, or more than seven, hours sleep a night.

This is compared to a score of 4.6% among those who slept for under six hours.

The participants were also followed for around 7.5 years, to uncover who died of a heart attack, stroke or heart failure; when the organ cannot pump blood around the body efficiently.

“Participants who slept less than six hours or more than seven hours had a higher chance of death due to cardiac causes,” said Dr Gupta. 

“ASCVD risk score was, however, the same in those who sleep six to seven hours versus more than seven hours.”

The score may not have captured an elevated heart disease risk in the subgroup who slept for more than seven hours, with the risk perhaps stronger in those who got by on less than six hours, according to the medics.

Watch: Leafy greens cut heart disease risk

At the start of the study, the medics also measured the participants’ C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease.

“Participants who sleep less or more than six to seven hours have higher ASCVD risk scores, which is likely driven by heightened inflammation as measured by CRP, which was found to be higher among those who had less or more sleep,” said Dr Gupta. 

“The effect of sleep probably accrues over time. It takes time for the damage to happen.”

The team wants patients to be asked routinely about their sleep during medical appointments.

“It’s important to talk about not only the amount of sleep but the depth and quality of sleep too,” said Dr Gupta. 

“Just because you are lying in bed for seven hours doesn’t mean you are getting good quality sleep.”

The study did not assess how well or deeply the participants slept. For example, sleep apnoea – when a patient wakes in the night due to their breathing stopping and starting – is increasingly being linked to heart disease.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

People who struggle to sleep are advised to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

Winding down with gentle yoga, a warm bath, soothing music or a relaxing book can also help. Writing a to-do list for the next day may also calm a frazzled mind.

Experts also recommend people avoid screens, like their phone, for around an hour before bed.

Bedrooms should also be “sleep friendly”, with a comfortable mattress, pleasant temperature and black-out curtains, if necessary.

Keeping a sleep diary can help people link a poor night’s shut eye to lifestyle habits, like drinking too much coffee or alcohol.

Watch: Cancer survivors face higher heart disease risk

How to live your best life in retirement

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

How to live your best life in retirement

No more 9 to 5 means a whole new approach to life. Here’s how to embrace retirement with healthy habits that can make your golden years quality years.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

When you first launched into your working life, you may have dreamed of the day you could hang up your employee ID badge and turn off your alarm clock and cellphone.

But for many workers, when it actually happens, the transition to retirement can feel daunting. That dream you had at age 25 of sipping pina coladas on the beach may feel more like “What now?” at 65.

Like any major life transition, retirement is a time of shifting priorities. And how you spend all that newfound free time can make a big difference in your health and quality of life. Here’s how to make the most of your post-working years.

Picture the life you want

Close your eyes and imagine your happiest and most fulfilling version of retirement. What do you hope to be doing on a random Tuesday? Do you picture yourself spending time with grandchildren? Trying new recipes and hosting dinners? Volunteering at a hospital or mentoring co-workers at your old job? Playing golf with your friends?

Taking the time to think about what brings you meaning and purpose gives you a clearer vision of where you will find a good quality of life — and some helpful road markers to know if you are getting closer or further away.

Find a routine

Sure, freedom and flexibility sound great. But for many people, too much flexibility can start to be more stressful than pleasant. Most people have healthier lives with routines and patterns.

That doesn’t have to mean packing your schedule. Simply slot in a few regular activities that fit with how you want to spend your time. It could be weekly walks with a neighbor, or picking up your grandchild from school every Tuesday.

And that dream about a life without an alarm clock? Go for it, but keep some boundaries on your sleep habits. Sleep is the foundation for a resilient life, and getting up at the same time each day (within an hour) is a healthy routine to keep — even without a job to report to every day.

Stay socially connected

Loneliness can be a part of aging. But it doesn’t have to be. If work has been your primary social outlet, moving away from that world can feel like a shock. Think about what social connections you want to maintain, and what new ones you want to build on — ideally before you retire.

Sign up to volunteer in your community, invite your neighbor over for a BBQ and reinvest in your relationship with your spouse or other close friends. Faith based communities can also be a source of social connection.

Keep on learning

Research shows that challenging the brain in new ways can help to keep you mentally sharp. While you’re working, that often comes with the territory: meeting new people, mastering new skills. But when you retire, you may have to be more proactive.

You can — and should — keep discovering new things in your retired life, too. But you may have to seek them out. There are plenty of ways to do it, and crossword puzzles and sudoku are only the beginning.

Travel, whether it’s to a nearby city for a day or a far-flung destination for a month. Walk in nature. Take an adult education course at a community college. Whatever you choose, be sure to also get offline: More screen time has been linked with worse mental health in retirement, while more physical activity has the opposite effect.

So with some planning and challenging ourselves, retirement can be an enjoyable phase in our lives.


Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar

Diabetes management requires awareness. Know what makes your blood sugar level rise and fall — and how to control these day-to-day factors.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Keeping your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor can be challenging. That’s because many things make your blood sugar levels change, sometimes unexpectedly. Following are some factors that can affect your blood sugar levels.


Healthy eating is a cornerstone of healthy living — with or without diabetes. But if you have diabetes, you need to know how foods affect your blood sugar levels. It’s not only the type of food you eat, but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat.

What to do:

  • Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes. A key to many diabetes management plans is learning how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates often have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. For people taking mealtime insulin, it’s important to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you get the proper insulin dose.

    Learn what portion size is appropriate for each food type. Simplify your meal planning by writing down portions for foods you eat often. Use measuring cups or a scale to ensure proper portion size and an accurate carbohydrate count.

  • Make every meal well balanced. As much as possible, plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fats. Pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you choose.

    Some carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for you than others. These foods are low in carbohydrates and have fiber that helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable. Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietitian about the best food choices and the appropriate balance of food types.

  • Coordinate your meals and medications. Too little food in proportion to your diabetes medications — especially insulin — may result in dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Too much food may cause your blood sugar level to climb too high (hyperglycemia). Talk to your diabetes health care team about how to best coordinate meal and medication schedules.
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages tend to be high in calories and offer little nutrition. And because they cause blood sugar to rise quickly, it’s best to avoid these types of drinks if you have diabetes.

    The exception is if you are experiencing a low blood sugar level. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, juice and sports drinks can be used as an effective treatment for quickly raising blood sugar that is too low.


Physical activity is another important part of your diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Regular physical activity also helps your body use insulin more efficiently.

These factors work together to lower your blood sugar level. The more strenuous your workout, the longer the effect lasts. But even light activities — such as housework, gardening or being on your feet for extended periods — can improve your blood sugar.

What to do:

  • Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan. Ask your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you. In general, most adults should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a day on most days of the week.

    If you’ve been inactive for a long time, your doctor may want to check your overall health before advising you. He or she can recommend the right balance of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.

  • Keep an exercise schedule. Talk to your doctor about the best time of day for you to exercise so that your workout routine is coordinated with your meal and medication schedules.
  • Know your numbers. Talk to your doctor about what blood sugar levels are appropriate for you before you begin exercise.
  • Check your blood sugar level. Check your blood sugar level before, during and after exercise, especially if you take insulin or medications that lower blood sugar. Exercise can lower your blood sugar levels even up to a day later, especially if the activity is new to you, or if you’re exercising at a more intense level. Be aware of warning signs of low blood sugar, such as feeling shaky, weak, tired, hungry, lightheaded, irritable, anxious or confused.

    If you use insulin and your blood sugar level is below 90 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 5.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), have a small snack before you start exercising to prevent a low blood sugar level.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water or other fluids while exercising because dehydration can affect blood sugar levels.
  • Be prepared. Always have a small snack or glucose tablets with you during exercise in case your blood sugar level drops too low. Wear a medical identification bracelet.
  • Adjust your diabetes treatment plan as needed. If you take insulin, you may need to reduce your insulin dose before exercising and monitor your blood sugar closely for several hours after intense activity as sometimes delayed hypoglycemia can occur. Your doctor can advise you on appropriate changes in your medication. You may also need to adjust treatment if you’ve increased your exercise routine.


Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone aren’t sufficient for managing diabetes. But the effectiveness of these medications depends on the timing and size of the dose. Medications you take for conditions other than diabetes also can affect your blood sugar levels.

What to do:

  • Store insulin properly. Insulin that’s improperly stored or past its expiration date may not be effective. Insulin is especially sensitive to extremes in temperature.
  • Report problems to your doctor. If your diabetes medications cause your blood sugar level to drop too low or if it’s consistently too high, the dosage or timing may need to be adjusted.
  • Be cautious with new medications. If you’re considering an over-the-counter medication or your doctor prescribes a new drug to treat another condition — such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol — ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication may affect your blood sugar levels.

    Sometimes an alternate medication may be recommended. Always check with your doctor before taking any new over-the-counter medication, so you know how it may impact your blood sugar level.


When you’re sick, your body produces stress-related hormones that help your body fight the illness, but they also can raise your blood sugar level. Changes in your appetite and normal activity also may complicate diabetes management.

What to do:

  • Plan ahead. Work with your health care team to create a sick-day plan. Include instructions on what medications to take, how often to measure your blood sugar and urine ketone levels, how to adjust your medication dosages, and when to call your doctor.
  • Continue to take your diabetes medication. However, if you’re unable to eat because of nausea or vomiting, contact your doctor. In these situations, you may need to adjust your insulin dose or temporarily reduce or withhold short-acting insulin or diabetes medication because of a risk of hypoglycemia. However, do not stop your long-acting insulin. During times of illness it is important to monitor your blood sugars frequently, and your doctor may instruct you also to check your urine for the presence of ketones.
  • Stick to your diabetes meal plan. If you can, eating as usual will help you control your blood sugar levels. Keep a supply of foods that are easy on your stomach, such as gelatin, crackers, soups and applesauce.

    Drink lots of water or other fluids that don’t add calories, such as tea, to make sure you stay hydrated. If you’re taking insulin, you may need to sip sugar-sweetened beverages, such as juice or a sports drink, to keep your blood sugar level from dropping too low.


The liver normally releases stored sugar to counteract falling blood sugar levels. But if your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, your blood sugar level may not get the boost it needs from your liver. Alcohol can result in low blood sugar shortly after you drink it and for as long as 24 hours afterward.

What to do:

  • Get your doctor’s OK to drink alcohol. Alcohol can aggravate diabetes complications, such as nerve damage and eye disease. But if your diabetes is under control and your doctor agrees, an occasional alcoholic drink is fine.

    Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than one drink a day for women of any age and men over 65 years old and two drinks a day for men under 65. One drink equals a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach. If you take insulin or other diabetes medications, be sure to eat before you drink, or drink with a meal to prevent low blood sugar.
  • Choose your drinks carefully. Light beer and dry wines have fewer calories and carbohydrates than do other alcoholic drinks. If you prefer mixed drinks, sugar-free mixers — such as diet soda, diet tonic, club soda or seltzer — won’t raise your blood sugar.
  • Tally your calories. Remember to include the calories from any alcohol you drink in your daily calorie count. Ask your doctor or dietitian how to incorporate calories and carbohydrates from alcoholic drinks into your diet plan.
  • Check your blood sugar level before bed. Because alcohol can lower blood sugar levels long after you’ve had your last drink, check your blood sugar level before you go to sleep. If your blood sugar isn’t between 100 and 140 mg/dL (5.6 and 7.8 mmol/L), have a snack before bed to counter a drop in your blood sugar level.

Menstruation and menopause

Changes in hormone levels the week before and during menstruation can result in significant fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

What to do:

  • Look for patterns. Keep careful track of your blood sugar readings from month to month. You may be able to predict fluctuations related to your menstrual cycle.
  • Adjust your diabetes treatment plan as needed. Your doctor may recommend changes in your meal plan, activity level or diabetes medications to make up for blood sugar variation.
  • Check blood sugar more frequently. If you’re likely approaching menopause or experiencing menopause, talk to your doctor about whether you need to monitor your blood sugar level more often. Symptoms of menopause can sometimes be confused with symptoms of low blood sugar, so whenever possible, check your blood sugar before treating a suspected low to confirm the low blood sugar level.

Most forms of birth control can be used by women with diabetes without a problem. However, oral contraceptives may raise blood sugar levels in some women.


If you’re stressed, the hormones your body produces in response to prolonged stress may cause a rise in your blood sugar level. Additionally, it may be harder to closely follow your usual diabetes management routine if you’re under a lot of extra pressure.

What to do:

  • Look for patterns. Log your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 each time you log your blood sugar level. A pattern may soon emerge.
  • Take control. Once you know how stress affects your blood sugar level, fight back. Learn relaxation techniques, prioritize your tasks and set limits. Whenever possible, avoid common stressors. Exercise can often help relieve stress and lower your blood sugar level.
  • Get help. Learn new strategies for coping with stress. You may find that working with a psychologist or clinical social worker can help you identify stressors, solve stressful problems or learn new coping skills.

The more you know about factors that influence your blood sugar level, the more you can anticipate fluctuations — and plan accordingly. If you’re having trouble keeping your blood sugar level in your target range, ask your diabetes health care team for help.


5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During COVID-19

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Quit your bad habits and replace them with these ones.

Harshit Mehndiratta
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

UbD Stage #2 – Marianne Frantz Portfolio

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Will Healthy Eating Make You Happier? A Research Synthesis Using an Online Findings Archive

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

A first step in this review was to gather the available quantitative research findings on the relationship between happiness and healthy eating. The second step was to present these findings in an uncomplicated form.

Gathering of Research Findings

In order to identify relevant papers for this synthesis, I inspected which publications on the subject of healthy eating were already included of the Bibliography of World Database of Happiness, in the subject sections ‘Health behaviour’ and consumption of ‘Food’. Then to further complete the collection of studies, various databases were searched such as Google Scholar, EBSCO, ScienceDirect, PsycINFO, PubMed/Medline, using terms such as ‘happiness’, ‘life satisfaction’, ‘subjective well-being’, ‘well-being’, ‘daily affect’, ‘positive affect’, ‘negative affect’ in connection with terms such as ‘food’, ‘healthy food’, ‘fruit and vegetables’, ‘fast food ‘and ‘soft drinks’ in different sequences.

All reviewed studies had to meet the following criteria:

  1. 1.

    A report on the study should be available in English, French, German or Spanish.

  2. 2.

    The study should concern happiness in the sense of life-satisfaction (cf. Healthy Eating section). I excluded studies on related matters, such as on mental health or wider notions of ‘flourishing’.

  3. 3.

    The study should involve a valid measure of happiness (cf. Happiness section). I excluded scales that involved questions on different matters, such as the much-used Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener et al. 1985).

  4. 4.

    The study results had to be expressed using some type of quantitative analysis.

Studies Found

Together, I found 20 reports of an empirical investigation that had examined the relationship between healthy eating and happiness, of which two were working papers and one dissertation. None of these publications reported more than one study. Together, the studies yielded 47 findings.

All the papers were fairly recent, having been published between 2005 and 2017. Most of the papers (44.4%) were published in Medical Journals, including the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, Journal of Health Psychology, The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, The Journal of Psychosomatic Research, The International Journal of Public Health, and Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology.

People Investigated

Together, the studies covered 149.880 respondents and 27 different countries. The publics investigated in these studies, included the general population in countries and particular groups such as students, children, veterans and medical patients. The majority of respondents belonged to a general public group (50%), students made up 27.8%, with children and veterans each forming 11.1%.

Research Methods Used

Most of the studies were cross-sectional 64.4%, longitudinal and daily food diaries accounted for 22% and 10.2% of the total number of studies respectively, and one experimental study accounted for 3.4%.

I present an overview of all the included studies, including information about population, methods and publication in Table 1.

Table 1 Studies in which the relationship between diet and happiness was examined

Format of this Research Synthesis

As announced, I applied a new technique of research reviewing, taking advantage of two technical innovations: a) The availability of an on-line findings-archive (the World Database of Happiness) that holds descriptions of research findings in a standard format and terminology, presented on separate finding pages with a unique internet address. b) The change in academic publishing from print on paper to electronic text read on screen, in which links to that online information can be inserted.

Links to Online Detail

In this review, I summarize the observed statistical relationships as +, − or 0 signs.Footnote 2 These signs link to finding pages in the World Database of Happiness, which serves as an online appendix in this article. If you click on a sign, one such a finding page will open, on which you can see full details of the observed relationship; of the people investigated, sampling, the measurement of both variables and the statistical analysis. An example of such an electronic finding page is presented in Fig. 2. This technique allows me to present the main trends in the findings, without burdening the reader with all the details, while keeping the paper to a controllable size, at the same time allowing the reader to check in depth any detail they wish.

Fig. 2

Example of an online findings page

Organization of the Findings

I first sorted the findings by the research method used and these are presented in three separate tables. I distinguished a) cross-sectional studies, assessing same-time relationships between diet and happiness (Table 2), b) longitudinal studies, assessing change in happiness following changes in diet (Table 3), and c) experimental studies, assessing the effect of induced changes in diet on happiness (Table 4).

Table 2 Findings on the relation between diet and happiness in cross-sectional studies
Table 3 Findings on change in happiness following change in diet observed in longitudinal studies
Table 4 Findings on change in diet on happiness observed in experimental studies

In the tables, I distinguish between studies at the micro level, in which the relation between diet and happiness of individuals was assessed and studies at the macro level, in which average diet in nations is linked to average happiness of citizens.

I present kinds of foods consumed vertically and horizontally two kinds of happiness: overall happiness (life-satisfaction) and hedonic level of affect.

Presentation of the Findings

The observed quantitative relationships between diet and happiness are summarized using 3 possible signs: + for a positive relationship, for a negative relationship and 0 for a non-relationship. Statistical significance is indicated by printing the sign in bold. See Appendix. Each sign contains a link to a particular finding page in the World Database of Happiness, where you can find more detail on the checked finding.

Some of these findings appear in more than one cell of the tables. This is the case for pages on which a ‘raw’ (zero-order) correlation is reported next to a ‘partial’ correlation in which the effect of the control variables is removed. Likewise, you will find links to the same findings page at the micro level and the macro level in Table 2; on this page there is a time-graph of sequential studies in Russia from which both micro and macro findings can be read.

Several cells in the tables remain empty and denote blanks in our knowledge.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this Review Technique

There are pros and cons to the use of a findings-archive such as the World Database of Happiness and plusses and minuses to the use of links to an on-line source in a text like this one.

Use of a Findings-Archive

Advantages are: a) efficient gathering of research on a particular topic, happiness in this case, b) sharp conceptual focus and selection of studies on that basis, c) uniform description of research findings on electronic finding pages, using a standard format and a technical terminology, d) storage of these finding pages in a well searchable database, e) which is available on-line and f) to which links can be made from texts. The technique is particular useful for ongoing harvesting of research findings on a particular subject.

Disadvantages are: a) the sharp conceptual focus cannot easily be changed, b) considerable investment is required to develop explicit criteria for inclusion, definition of technical terms and software,Footnote 3 c) which pays only when a lot of research is processed on a continuous basis.

Use of Links in a Review Paper

The use of links to an on-line source allows us to provide extremely short summaries of research findings, in this text by using +, − and 0 signs in bold or not, while allowing the reader access to the full details of the research. This technique was used in an earlier research synthesis on wealth and happiness (Jantsch and Veenhoven 2019) and is described in more detail in Veenhoven (2019). Advantages of such representation are: a) an easy overview of the main trend in the findings, in this case many + signs for healthy foods, b) access to the full details behind the links, c) an easy overview of the white spots in the empty cells in the tables, and d) easy updates, by entering new sign in the tables, possibly marked with a colour.

The disadvantages are: a) much of the detailed information is not directly visible in the + and – signs, b) in particular not the effect size and control variables used, and c) the links work only for electronic texts.

Differences with Traditional Reviewing

Usual review articles cannot report much detail about the studies considered and rely heavily on references to the research reports read by the reviewer, which typically figure on a long list at the end of the review paper that the reader can hardly check. As a result, such reviews are vulnerable to interpretations made by the reviewer and methodological variation can escape the eye.

Another difference is that the conceptual focus of many traditional reviews in this field is often loose, covering fuzzy notions of ‘well-being’ rather than a well-defined concept of ‘happiness’ as used here. This blurs the view on what the data tell and involves a risk of ‘cherry picking’ by reviewers. A related difference is that traditional reviews of happiness research often assume that the name of a questionnaire corresponds with its conceptual contents. Yet, several ‘happiness scales’ measure different things than happiness as defined in “Healthy Eating” section, e.g. much used Life Satisfaction Scale (Neugarten et al. 1961), which measures social functioning.

Still another difference is that traditional narrative reviews focus on interpretations advanced by authors of research reports, while in this quantitative research synthesis I focus on the data actually presented. An example of such a difference in this review, is the publication by Connor & Brookie (Conner et al. 2015) who report no effect of healthier eating on mood in the experimental group, while their data show a small but significant gain in positive affect and a small but insignificant reduction of negative effect (Table 3), which together denote a positive effect on affect balance.

Difference with Traditional Meta-Analysis

Though this research synthesis is a kind of meta-analysis, it differs from common meta-analytic studies in several ways. One difference is the above- mentioned conceptual rigor; like narrative reviews many meta-analyses take the names given to variables for their content thus adding apples and oranges. Another difference is the direct online access to full detail about the research findings considered, presented in a standard format and terminology, while traditional meta-analytic studies just provide a reference to research reports from which the data were taken. A last difference is that most traditional meta-analytic studies aim at summarizing the research findings in numbers, such as an average effect size. Such quantification is not well possible for the data at hand here and not required for answering our research questions. My presentation of the separate findings in tabular schemers provides more information, both of the general tendency and of the details.

What Exactly Is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

We hear about diabetes all the time, so it’s easy to forget that there are different types of the condition. The two most common forms are type 1 and type 2. Both involve problems with insulin, but the causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different.

The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin and people need to rely on insulin injections to survive. People with type 2 diabetes are unable to use their own insulin effectively, either because they don’t make enough or because their cells are resistant to the insulin they do make. People with type 2 can use a combination of diet, exercise, oral medication, and insulin (or other injectable drugs) to control their blood sugar.

a close up of a piece of paper

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Type 1: Autoimmune

Type 1 is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system targets the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It has a genetic component, but not all identical twins get type 1 diabetes, so other factors may play a role. “We think that exposure to an additional environmental factor may trigger an immune response that ultimately destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas,” says Sarah Rettinger, MD, a board-certified endocrinologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

Type 2: Genetics plus lifestyle

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes has a stronger genetic component, and is caused by a complicated interaction of genes and environment, including lifestyle choices such as food and exercise. “A person with a first-degree relative with type 2 has a 5 to 10 times higher risk of developing the disease than a person the same age and weight without the same family history,” she says.

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How common is type 1 vs type 2 diabetes?

Gallery: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds (ETNT Health)

If you suddenly develop a fever, it's a telltale sign that you may have COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list this as one of the most common symptoms of the virus. The CDC conducted an analysis of 199 coronavirus patients throughout the country. It found that 80% of the patients who were hospitalized experienced a fever as a presenting symptom.

According to the 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30.3 million Americans have the disease. And yet almost one in four people with diabetes are undiagnosed. Type 1 is more commonly diagnosed in children and teens and makes up about 5 percent of all diabetes cases, compared with type 2, which accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases.

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is almost twice as high in non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native adults than non-Hispanic white adults, and higher in people ages 65 and older (1 in 4 among the older age group). Type 2, once considered rare in children, is on the rise—mainly due to the obesity epidemic—but it’s still less common among youths under age 20 than type 1 (about 5,000 youths are diagnosed with type 2, compared to almost 18,000 youths diagnosed with type 1 each year).

Men are at higher risk

Men are more likely to develop both types than women. “Both sexes are equally affected by type 1 in childhood, but the incidence is higher in males than in females in adulthood,” says Marina Basina, MD, clinical associate professor at Stanford University Medical Center, and an advisory board member for Beyond Type 1, a philanthropic foundation focusing on educating, advocating, and eventually curing type 1, and CarbDM, an online community for people with type 1 diabetes. “Men are at slightly higher risk of developing type 2 than women, which is possibly due to lifestyle factors, body weight, and the fat distribution in the body—abdominal versus in the hips.”

Both types of the disease can develop at any age, but while there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented—or at least delayed—with diet and lifestyle changes, according to research in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

How to treat type 1 vs type 2 diabetes

Because type 1 patients are unable to produce insulin, they have to inject themselves (or use an insulin pump) to take the insulin they need to metabolize glucose (sugar), which is used for energy, says Jennifer Haythe, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and co-director of the Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Health in New York City. “There are many oral medications available to treat type 2, though as the disease progresses many patients end up requiring insulin, as well. Type 2 can be prevented and delayed with exercise, diet, and maintenance of a healthy weight.”

a person taking a selfie

© Sergei Domashenko/Shutterstock

A balancing act

Treatment of type 1 can be challenging, admits Dr. Basina. “Individuals have an absolute insulin deficiency and require a lifetime of insulin therapy,” she explains. “Insulin is administered either with multiple daily injections or via an insulin pump, a device that delivers insulin 24 hours a day in small increments under the skin. Insulin doses must be carefully balanced with eating and physical activity throughout the day and night. There is a significant advancement in insulin and insulin delivery devices but the treatment still presents significant challenges and a burden to the patients.”

Preventing complications

While both types of diabetes put patients at high risk of complications, including damage to the kidneys, eyes, heart, and brain, a diagnosis does not necessarily lead to complications. “Uncontrolled blood sugars lead to complications over time,” explains Dr. Rettinger. “This is a progressive disease even in patients with excellent lifestyles. When we see patients frequently (every three months), we can recognize blood sugar patterns, make lifestyle recommendations, and intensify treatment before sugars get out of control. When patients get regular checkups, we can also detect the early signs of complications, often slowing down, or reversing the problem. With good control, patients should be able to live healthy, happy, long lives without complications.”

The post What Exactly Is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes? appeared first on The Healthy.

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