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Harmful Things Our Grandparents Did Back in the Day that We Wouldn’t Dream of Doing Now

We have, indeed, come a long way in terms of medical advancement. In fact, most of the life-changing discoveries in the fields of medical care, health, and wellness have occurred within the past 50 years or so. This brings into mind the question of how our elders, such as our grandparents, fared all those years ago before they were even aware of the detrimental effects that certain substances, habits, and functions have on the body—knowledge that we normally take for granted today.

This is why medical programs designed for seniors like Medicare are very useful today. It has a wide array of coverage options that fit and can accommodate all sorts of lifestyle, so seniors are virtually covered for just about any ailment, disease, and condition imaginable.

Here are things that seniors like our grandparents did without a second thought back in the day that would be considered dangerous to one’s health today:


In the 1950’s, a whopping 50 percent of the world population smoked cigarettes. In fact, even doctors smoked, which cigarette corporations used heavily in their advertisements. At some point, there were even claims of cigarettes being therapeutic. So just imagine the inflated Medicare premiums if this was still the status quo today. It took decades before scientists realized that it caused cancer and a score of other diseases, and decades more before it was revealed to the public. It truly was one of the biggest cover-ups in world history. Thankfully, people are more aware of its dangers today, and there are considerably fewer smokers now than when smoking was oh-so fashionable.

Eating processed meat

Today, we are all mindful of the need to consume good protein—that is to say, lean meats that are all natural and even organic. However, back in the day, people thought nothing about consuming processed meats like hot dogs, cold cuts, salamis, sausages, and the like. It took decades before processed food and its high sodium content was found to be a mitigating factor that could cause cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Even today, these kinds of food are still being consumed generously, more often out of convenience.

Eating sugar

Today, it is hard to go a day without being indoctrinated on the travails of consuming too much sugar. However, in the 1950’s, people thought nothing about consuming copious amounts of soda and milkshakes and ice cream—the list can go on and on.

The fact of the matter is sugar is single-handedly responsible for a good percentage of diabetes, cancer, obesity, and heart disease cases. Even more alarmingly, to this day, the average person consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar per day—a whopping four times the limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Unfortunately, sugar has properties that make it extremely addictive, which is why people are having an incredibly hard time giving it up. Medicare, for its part, does have special coverage for diabetes and similar diseases, so this could be a godsend for the sugar-crazy.

Consuming trans fats

Trans fats is short for trans-unsaturated fatty acids. This occurs in very tiny amounts naturally. However, the industrialization of food for the sake of economics demanded that this kind of fat be widely produced as they make for cheap additives. These are often present in vegetable fats, margarine, and packaged baked goods, to name a few.
Unfortunately, this kind of fat increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Even more unfortunate is the fact that this was not known a few years ago, which is why numerous seniors today suffer from coronary problems. Again, Medicare has special coverage for seniors with chronic heart disease, so it is always a good idea to be mindful of the various offerings of each package.


People have been chasing after the golden skin tone since time immemorial. However, it was not until the 1940’s that sunscreen was invented. Today, we all know that prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer and a myriad of other skin ailments, which makes wearing sunscreen all the more imperative. Even with all this new data, however, only a meager 30 percent of women and 14 percent of men wear sunscreen, which is not as high as it should be.

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