why do us presidents age so fast

President Barack Obama holds his end of the year press conference at the White House. As President Barack Obama reflects on his seven years in office, he has a way of acknowledging his waning time in the position: A joke about his graying hair. "The first thing I want from young people is to stop calling me old," Obama said earlier this year. "When I came into office, I had no gray hair, and now I have a lot. I don't dye my hair, and a lot of my fellow leaders do. I won't say who, but their barbers know, their hairdressers. "
Indeed, despite his close-cut hairstyle, it's impossible not to notice the trademark presidential graying, as the president's short black hair has become more of a salt-and-pepper color.


And though that Obama is the latest victim of the expedited presidential aging process, appearing to age faster due to the stress of the office, others say that it's than stress. Other studies, including a comprehensive analysis of elections dating back to the 1700s, that heading a nation can take years off a leader's life. The December analysis, from the Harvard Medical School, found that elected heads of government, on average, have lives almost three years shorter than the candidates they defeat.


But not everyone is bothered by the aging process. At least one top candidate to succeed Obama says she's ready for it. "All our presidents come into office looking so vigorous," Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary. "Think about what they look like on Inauguration Day. And then we watch them they grow grayer and grayer. And by the time they leave, they are as white as the building they live in. " "Now let me tell you, I'm aware I might not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I have one big advantage: I've been coloring my hair for years," she quipped. Here's how the country's past presidents have looked near the beginnings and ends of their respective terms.


It s not clear. While psychological stress can lead to DNA damage associated with aging, it s not clear whether this damage manifests itself visibly, such as in crow s feet around the eyes or a dusting of silver on the crown. That hasn t stopped some news outlets from heralding a link between stress and graying hair. When a 2011 study showed, articles in the Daily Mail, and elsewhere touted the study as proof that stress can cause visible aging. , proclaimed the headline in the Telegraph. However, the study had little or nothing to do with gray hair, with the words gray and hair never even appearing.


Furthermore, the study used. As William Saletan, many other studies have found no relationship between early graying and aging. For example, a study of 20,000 men and women in Copenhagen could find, such as balding, wrinkly skin, and gray hair. Instead, most graying seems to be determined by genetics and has little to do with one s health or proximity to the grave. If presidents tend to go gray while in office, it may simply be because most normal graying happens during the same years in which presidents serve in office.

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