About.com Longevity: Meet Your Future Self, Try Harder Today


If you could magically transport yourself to say, the year 2045, would you give yourself a high five, or offer an apology?  Like the old joke "if I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself" laments, it's tough to understand exactly how today's behavior will play out in the future.

That may change, thanks to some enterprising researchers who are using aged photos and virtual reality to make the future more of a, well, reality.  A new study in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that young women shown photos of what they'd look like after years of smoking were shocked enough to butt out.  It seems the health promotion messages against tobacco use just didn't resonate like cold hard evidence of wrinkles and sagging skin.  Reactions of anxiety and nausea were common. (Welcome to getting older!)

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