NZ Study Links Shopping to Longer Life; Is It the Reason Why Most Women Outlive Men?

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By Vittorio Hernandez | December 10, 2013 8:40 AM EST


Retail therapy, which many females turn to when they are depressed or angry or lonely, appears to be more than just an excuse to shop - as most of the husbands or boyfriends of these women think.

A University of Auckland study indicated shopping could be healthful and is even linked to longer lifespan.

The link wad based on a study by Janine Wiles, population health researcher at the University of Auckland, who surveyed 2,000 elderly Taiwanese. The finding, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community, which holds true also for senior Kiwis.

Ms Wiles explained that going on shopping trips keeps senior citizens busy and adds a sense of purpose to their lives.

"People who are shopping frequently are quite likely having lots of social contact, which is also strongly associated with well being," Ms Wiles added, quoted by

However, before women tell the complaining partners "I told you so," the research stressed that shopping and purchasing could be two different things. She said some older people find pleasure in spotting bargains, which they pass on the information to their relatives or friends.

Walking from store to store also provides them some physical exercise. When doing Christmas shopping, the average person walks more than 30 kilometres, a British market research company found out.

However, to the relief of husbands and boyfriends or sometimes parents, the study cautions against overspending, particularly when doing your Yuletide shopping. It also cautioned against shopping in overheated stores.

Besides shopping, there are two other favourite pastimes that another study by Israeli researchers linked with a person's health. The study by University of Tel Aviv researchers found that drinking coffee and alcohol could alter a section of a person's DNA involved in ageing and cancer.

The bases of their study are telomeres or the caps at the end of chromosomes that control DNA repair and multiplication. The researchers exposed the cells to temperature, pH changes and different drugs and chemicals, but the telomere's lengths were not affected.

But when exposed to the equivalent of a shot of espresso, the telomeres contracted, while to a 5 to 7 per cent alcohol solution, the telomeres actually expanded.

However, Dr Elke Sokoya, a senior lecturer of human physiology at Flinders University clarified, quoted by RecipeFinder, "One needs to be careful to draw the conclusion that if alcohol exposure to yeast cells lengthens telomeres, this will translate into lengthening life span. You would need to consider whether the alcohol concentration given to the yeast cells would represent the alcohol concentration that cells would see in the body. In my opinion, far more work needs to be done before we could make any conclusions."

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