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Dean Pomerleau

CR Survey Results

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The CR Survey was live for a little over a week, and no new responses have come in during the last couple days, so I figure it was time to summarize the results.
 
In total, there were 16 complete responses (and one partially complete). Here are their main demographics:
 
Gender:  100% male. Not too surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.   :(
 
Age: Pretty wide distribution, with peak in the 60-69 category (click on graphs to enlarge).
 
post-7043-0-80240500-1441733340_thumb.jpg
 
Years on CR: Mostly veterans! Here is the distribution (sorry for the crude graph, it wasn't a question that SurveyMonkey would graph):
 
   < 1  Years:  (2)   ****
   1-3  Years:  (3)   ******
  5-10 Years:  (3)   ******
10-20 Years:  (5)   **********
   20+ Years:  (3)   ******
 
Eating Strategy: Almost 45% of respondents count calories pretty carefully. 30% eat about the same thing every day.
 
post-7043-0-12185900-1441733576_thumb.jpg
 
BMI: We're a pretty slim bunch, with 65% of respondents with a BMI of less than 20.
 
post-7043-0-52599400-1441734244_thumb.jpg
 
Weight Loss: Nearly 50% of respondents have lost 20-30 lbs since starting CR.
 
post-7043-0-71595400-1441734455_thumb.jpg
 
Exercise Amount: Exercise amount varied widely. All but one respondent report doing at least an hour or two per week. Two to four hours was the most common response (30%) but with 25% reporting more than 10 hours per week of exercise. Exercise type varied a lot as well. Almost everyone said walking, followed by jogging (about half), resistance training (about half), aerobic machines (elliptical or biking, about 25%), and yoga/stretching (about 25%).
 
post-7043-0-51828600-1441734657_thumb.jpg
 
Dietary Pattern: When respondents were asked to classify their diets (selecting all that apply), "Vegan" was the most common class selected (40%), followed by "High Carb / Low Fat" (30%). About 25% of respondents classified themselves as "omnivores". Nobody self-reported as eating "Paleo".
 
post-7043-0-38276200-1441739479_thumb.jpg
 
Reasons for CR Practice: Interestingly, "healthspan" (just barely) beat out "longevity" as the most important reason for practicing CR, when a weighted average was taking for the rankings. "Disease avoidance" was a close third.
 
post-7043-0-07468900-1441739745_thumb.jpg
 
Type of Info Wanted: When asked about what type of information / interaction they'd like to get from the CR Society and these forums, the most popular response was "Information about the Science of CR" followed by "CR Tips and Tricks" followed by "Non-CR Health Information / Discussions" and "Citizen Science Discussions".
 
post-7043-0-85644900-1441740085_thumb.jpg
 
General Suggestions: Below are the (anonymized) "essay" answers provided by 11 respondents to the question of how to improve the forums and/or how to improve the way the CR Society serves its members. Quite a few good ideas! My sense from the above graph and the comments below is that there is enough interest in "Non-CR Health Information / Discussions" to have a separate forum for it, rather than lumping these discussions into "Chit Chat".  Several people also mentioned "Citizen Science" as something they'd like the CR Society to pursue more actively.

 

  • I still miss the spontaneity of the email lists ! (minus the never-ending boring comments of just a few (old) posters ...) I appreciate your efforts to blow life into the slow and stagnant CR Forums. I think they are doomed by their very nature and structure. But CR is (could be!) well and alive with practitioners and experimenters like you, and with researchers like Luigi.  [Disparaging comment deleted]. We the long- term CR practitioners, especially those of us who are now in our 70s and 80s, could contribute so much (as they have done in the early years as Fontana cohorts) to the progress of CR !!! Looking forward to the results.
  • I am a long-term CRONie and so have no interest in discussion of starting a CR diet, but it's obviously important to help new people. It seems to me that there are a lot of diet, excercise, supplement, and even drug issues that are ancillary to CR and not capture by "Discussions about health and longevity not necessarily related to CR:" I rank those at #5, and "Discussions about health and longevity not really related to CR" rather low.
  • More emphasis should be placed on the CR's effects on cognition.
  • For the group, I think improving the forums will come when we get more people to post! That will happen, as long as we welcome newcomers and keep the discussions alive and interesting!
  • A) A separate forum for non-CR health issues with well-defined capitalized thread subject titles. B) A forum (member read-only) with brief summaries all the most critically important pieces of information (mostly PMID-referenced papers) about CR located in one place. C) Another (!) 'Forum' (member read-only) which would have a listing of all the studies that NEED TO BE DONE by scientists to help further our knowledge of how to live to 120 healthy. (I would make quite a few suggestions about some of the studies that, imo, should be in there. Its purpose would be as a place scientists could look for ideas about studies they might consider worth doing.)
  • Perhaps the addition of a Forum that would parallel the old CRCOMM list. Perhaps also a vigorous mailing campaign to all members of the old CR mailing list, encouraging former List contributors to join the Forums. Also -- although I know it's a lot of work for David and Robert -- another meeting of the CR Society (the gap between the last and next meeting, I fear, will be 3 years).
  • Free and open discussions because we are all here to "walk to the special beat of our own drum"... Each of us will decide for ourselves how to practice CRON, but we like to hear and consider the opinions of others who may have more science based knowledge than we do... We want to learn..
  • It's perfect without any possibility for improvement. But seriously, I do think forum expansion should happen slowly. Too often we add something like 'Recipes' and it gets no traffic. I'm not thrilled about the 'chit chat' name but that wasn't my call. Could be better labeled as it seems to confuse people who want health related, non-strictly-CR topics. I'm not sure if the members only (logged in users only) is that much helpful, but hard to say. I do wonder if as a general member benefit we ought to have rooms for paid supporters/voluntairs only and a lifetime room (or just combine them - basically a 'skin in the game room'). But I also feel traffic needs to grow for that to have appeal.
  • I don't expect much from other CR people, but am interested in how the long-term people are doing, and any big news bearing on CR, fasting, or vegan diet. An example is evidence that vegans can't get B12 from tempeh. I dropped tempeh after that.
  • Make it easier to send messages. Our personal test results would be a topic of interest to me.
  • I'd really like the CR Society to sponsor and/or organize more research into the science & practice of human CR, perhaps through a citizen science initiative.

 

 

Thanks again for everyone who responded! Overall I was a bit disappointed by the turnout (only 16 respondents), but its obvious from the results that we're a dedicated and committed bunch.

 

I know Brian and the rest of the Board will be looking at these results carefully, and hopefully it will result in some new initiatives / activities.

 

What does everyone else think of these results? Any surprises? I was most surprised about the high prevalence of vegans / vegetarians.

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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What does everyone else think of these results? Any surprises? I was most surprised about the high prevalence of vegans / vegetarians.

 

--Dean

The surprises.

 

How much exercise people get. I was in the 1-2hr range so that my be reflecting my bias. Is the spike at 10-14 hrs just a reflection of small survey size or is there a threshold group that really likes to exercise (or retirees with lots of walking time)?

 

Another surprise, as you mention the BMI range is low but the weight lost is also low. It suggests many started low and stayed low. For example, a lot of people are in the BMI 18-20 range which is 121.9 lbs to 135.4 lbs for a 5' 9" person. The biggest reported weight loss range was 20 - 30 lbs.

 

Putting this together, someone with BMI 19 (128.7 lbs & 5'9") might be expected to have started at 25 lbs heavier or a weight of 153.7 (BMI 22.7 @ 5'9"). In my opinion, that is starting low and ending low (which could reflect a personal/cultural bias on my part).

 

I wonder if a future survey (not wanting survey people to death) might be served by reporting individual height/weight(current and lost)/age/sex.

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I am surprised that 100% of the respondents were Male! Have you tried posting this survey to the CR group on Facebook? That's usually the most active place and has plenty of Females. :)

I also think that it was a big mistake by not moving to forums a long time ago. Staying with the Email Lists for so long - even when better options were available - significantly impacted the growth of the CR community imo. The archives are not even indexed by Google are they? A missed opportunity to have people find CR from search engines like Google. But as I said above: most of active posters are actually on Facebook.


 

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[Tim's suprises]

 

How much exercise people get. I was in the 1-2hr range so that my be reflecting my bias. Is the spike at 10-14 hrs just a reflection of small survey size or is there a threshold group that really likes to exercise (or retirees with lots of walking time)?

 

You are definitely an outlier Tim when it comes to exercise, since (as I recall) you are both relatively young and don't exercise very much relative to other CRers (the shorthand I've decided to use rather than CRONies to refer to CR practitioners).

 

Here is the data, restricted to those who completed the entire survey and have been practicing CR for at least 5 years.

 

Light Exercise (<4 h/wk) - 5 respondents with an average age of 71

Moderate Exercise (4-10 h/wk) - 4 respondents with an average age of 52

Heavy Exercise (10+ h/wk) - 5 respondents with an average age of 55

 

So it appears the light exercisers are a relatively older bunch, and therefore more (not less) likely to be retired, than those doing more exercise. That would make sense if they are relatively more infirm and/or concerned about exercise-induced stress / injury as a result of greater age. It could be the heavy exercisers are "young retirees" with more energy/health than the older, light exercisers, and more time on their hands than the younger, moderate exercisers. That characterization of the heavy exerciser demographic fits the profile of one heavy exerciser I know well :), but the number of people in each group are small, so that might be reading too much into the data.

 

From my informal analysis of the data there didn't seem to be a link between amount of exercise and any of the following: years on CR, weight loss, or BMI.

 

 

 

Another surprise, as you mention the BMI range is low but the weight lost is also low. It suggests many started low and stayed low. For example, a lot of people are in the BMI 18-20 range which is 121.9 lbs to 135.4 lbs for a 5' 9" person. The biggest reported weight loss range was 20 - 30 lbs.

 

Putting this together, someone with BMI 19 (128.7 lbs & 5'9") might be expected to have started at 25 lbs heavier or a weight of 153.7 (BMI 22.7 @ 5'9"). In my opinion, that is starting low and ending low (which could reflect a personal/cultural bias on my part).

 

I wonder if a future survey (not wanting survey people to death) might be served by reporting individual height/weight(current and lost)/age/sex.

 

 

The 4 long-term CRers with the greatest weight loss (>40 lbs), had an average BMI of 17.3, average age of 62.5, and have practiced CR for an average of 21 years.

The 10 long-term CRers with less weight loss (<30 lbs), had an average BMI of 19.2, average age of 59, and have practiced CR for an average of 13.5 years.

 

So there definitely looks to be an inverse correlation between weight loss and BMI (i.e. more weight loss equates to lower BMI) as you'd expect.

 

It looks like there may be two groups of CRers - the slightly older, really hard-core, really long-term folks who've lost a lot of weight and are really thin, and those who've been doing CR for a somewhat shorter (but still long) time, haven't lost quite as much weight and aren't quite as rail thin. Perhaps they could be characterized as "extreme" vs. "serious" CRers.

 

Its pretty cool what you can do with data, although as you say, the number of respondents is relatively small, so the results should be taken with a grain of salt. Interestingly though, the number of people is close to what Luigi has been using in his published studies of long-term CRers. In fact, I suspect there is a lot of overlap between Luigi's study group and this one!

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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I am surprised that 100% of the respondents were Male! Have you tried posting this survey to the CR group on Facebook? That's usually the most active place and has plenty of Females. :)

 

I also think that it was a big mistake by not moving to forums a long time ago. Staying with the Email Lists for so long - even when better options were available - significantly impacted the growth of the CR community imo. The archives are not even indexed by Google are they? A missed opportunity to have people find CR from search engines like Google. But as I said above: most of active posters are actually on Facebook.

 

Matt, I've started a new thread to discuss the relationship between these forums and the Facebook CR group. Please reply there!

 

--Dean

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I'm opposed to any use of Facebook.  I regard Facebook as an identity theft risk.  (In particular, I do not have, and will not start, a Facebook account.  Google+ is the furthest I'll go.

 

Also, I strongly disagree with Tim -- I think the Forums are a mistake; the CR and CRCOMM listswere better; we'd do well togo back to them (with a bit more regulation, of the CR List).

 

  -- Saul

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Matt,

 

Have you tried posting this survey to the CR group on Facebook? That's usually the most active place and has plenty of Females. :)

 

I've taken your suggestion to heart and posted a link to the survey on the CR Society Facebook page. Hopefully we'll get a lot more respondents, especially women!

 

Thanks for the suggestion,

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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I am surprised that 100% of the respondents were Male! Have you tried posting this survey to the CR group on Facebook? That's usually the most active place and has plenty of Females.

 

I also think that it was a big mistake by not moving to forums a long time ago. Staying with the Email Lists for so long - even when better options were available - significantly impacted the growth of the CR community imo. The archives are not even indexed by Google are they? A missed opportunity to have people find CR from search engines like Google. But as I said above: most of active posters are actually on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Hi Matt, and welcome! First, good idea about posting the survey to the Facebook group. Second, well... see new thread on Facebook/CR Society.

 

- Brian

Edited by Michael R
Updating link to Facebook thread

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As a result of my post to the CR Society Facebook Group about the CR Survey, we now have a good number of additional respondents. Here is an updated analysis of the key questions.

 

First, comparing the demographics of people who heard about the survey via the Forums vs. Facebook, here is a table (click to enlarge - grrr... I don't know how to control the size that graphics appear) :

 

post-7043-0-64812900-1442172933_thumb.jpg

 

There have been 19 respondents from the Forums, and 12 (completed) respondents from Facebook. On average, the Forum respondents are more male (100% vs. 60% male), older (54 vs. 46 years), longer practicing CR (13.7 vs. 9.1 years), skinnier (19.6 vs. 20.8 BMI), have lost more weight (26 vs. 21 lbs), and exercise about the same (5.6 vs. 5.5 h/wk). In short, the Forum readers appear somewhat more 'hardcore' in their practice of CR than the Facebook followers.

 

Now looking at the combined data, "Vegan" remained the most popular diet category (34%), but we did pick up a three of Brian's Paleo CR folks  :):

 

post-7043-0-29537400-1442173805_thumb.jpg

 

"Healthspan" continued to beat out "Longevity" by a hair as the most popular reason for practicing CR (graph not shown).

 

"Discussion of CR Science" remained the most common type of information respondents would like to see more of, followed by "CR Tips and Tricks" and "Non-CR Health Discussions" (which nearly tied).

 

So overall, the new information from Facebook folks isn't too surprising, and didn't change the previously reported results too much. It is good to see more women members, although it would be nice to see more of them (and the men too!) participating here on the Forums...

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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