Sometimes it's nice to remember that older people have always been shocked by the habits of the young. One hundred years ago, in 1911, Tilden Pierce turned 100 years old and talked to the New York Times (not the Onion) about why he didn't think the younger generation would be able to achieve his longevity: too much pie and too many baths.
"Yep," he told the Times from his Plymouth, Mass., old folks' home. "What's shortening the days of the present generation is because they eat too much pie and cake."
Excessive bathing--twice a week or more--also lobbed years off younger folks' lifespans, he warned: "It's a dangerous practice and bound to sap a fellow's strength. And if a man allows himself to become so unclean that he has to have a bath twice a week--well he'd better look out or he'll soon be dead."
A more recent study on longevity revealed that people who live to 95 years and older have just as many bad habits--smoking, drinking, and avoiding exercise, for example--as people who die younger. (Pierce told the Times that he had been chewing tobacco since he was 14.) Scientists are still baffled at why some lucky people, like Pierce, make it to 100.