Science & Tech

The reason why people really did look older in the past

The reason why people really did look older in the past
Scientists reveal a breakthrough has been made in the quest to stop …

Back in the day, it’s said that people looked a lot older earlier in life than they do now. As it turns out, there’s a few reasons why.

A video essay exploring the phenomenon from Vsauce posits a few explanations why we notice people looking older at a younger age in old footage and photographs.

For one, the improvements in standards of living and advancements in healthcare over the years offer an obvious factor.

There’s also subconscious bias surrounding fashions from years gone by and their connection with older generations.

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However, a study from 2018 also explored how biological ageing has changed in a short space of time.

Did People Used To Look Older?

It found that human beings are actually biologically “younger” now than ever when it comes to changes in things like blood pressure – so there’s an actual physical difference between the generations that explains why people looked older sooner back in the day.

The study explained that this is down to factors such as a fall in smoking, reading: "Over the past 20 years, the biological age of the U.S. population seems to have decreased for males and females across the age range.

"However, the degree of change has not been the same for men and women or by age. Our results showed that young males experienced greater improvements than young females. This finding may explain why early adult mortality has decreased more for males than females, contributing to a narrowing of the gender mortality gap. Additionally, improvements were also larger for older adults than they were for younger adults."

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