What is the average life expectancy of a chef?

In case you’re wondering what is the life expectancy of a chef. As we know that working as a professional chef is hard on our physical body. In this post you’ll find out how working as a professional chef can affect your health. And how you can improve your life expectancy.

We tried to find data for the average life expectancy of chefs and found stats only for Norway. The average life expectancy of chefs in Norway was 76 years in 2019. as the average life expectancy was 82.9 years in Norway. chefs had less life expectancy than normal people.

As we know that working in the kitchen reduces your life expectancy. Let’s look at the top five factors that affect it. Also, we will look at some famous chefs and how long they have lived.

5 top factors lowering the Life expectancy of a chef

5 top factors affecting the Life expectancy of a chef

Working with the cooking flame

Exposure to cooking fumes results in higher chances of developing respiratory illnesses. This includes diseases like asthma, emphysema and rhinitis.

These small problems can result in a big problems in the future. If you want to know more about the effects of cooking fumes on your health. We have included a link to the article which talks about it in detail in the webliography section below.

long working shifts

The job of a professional chef is hard. It requires working long shits. On average, most chefs in the world work about 50 to 70 hours a week. That’s way more than the average work week.

Long shifts result in excessive stress in our life. Stress is more dangerous than many diseases out there. In order to cope with the stress, many of our buddies go down the wrong path which instead of making their life better makes them worst. It affects every part of the chef’s life from health, to relationships and well-being.

Habits that hurt chefs the most are smoking, alcohol and drugs.

addiction to alcohol, smoking, and drugs

As we have discussed above working as a chef results in daily stress and tiredness. people under the stress of work and life usually build some bad habits unknowingly. bad habits are easy to make and hard to break. or to say it better “bad habits die hard”.

man, you’re lucky like me if you haven’t had alcohol, smoking or drugs in your entire life. People know that smoking kills they still do it because it relieves stress. they do drink for the sake of just chilling out which does not serve them.

Chef Thomas Keller said

"I drank more wine when I wasn't working as much, to be honest." ~ Thomas Keller Share on X

Brothers(and sisters), our work requires focus and hard work so if we truly want to work world-class honestly the hangover isn’t for us. here is a short video of Jorden Peterson talking about alcohol.

There are other ways to let go of stress like exercise, meditation and many others.

Lack of rest/sleep

On average, an adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. Which seems to be too much for us. provided the work and social responsibility we have. It’s important not just how many hours we sleep but how well we sleep.

previously, we talked about alcohol and drugs. remember that that affects how well we feel rested after waking up. lack of sleep is a leading cause of many dangerous health problems. you feel depressed and burnout most of the time look how well you slept.

Being around the food all day long

As a chef, you make many dishes every day or make a dish 100s of times a day. it would sound familiar that buddies we work with are used to eating all day long. yeah! I know you would argue that we ate 3 meals a day. but in reality, many of us eat dozens of times a day. remember the sauce you just tested or a few chips you have eaten.

as we are being around food all day long it’s easy for us to eat something here and there. but it affects our metabolic health. and leads us to many problems regarding the liver. it may result in non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Now that we are aware of the top 5 factors affecting the life expectancy of a chef. let’s look at some of the famous chefs who have lived a long life.

List of some famous professional chefs who lived a long life

Chef’s NameBirth yearDeath yearAge
Paul Bocuse1926201892 years
Peng Chang Kuei1918201698 years
Willie Mae Seaton1916201599 years
Marcella Hazan1924201389 years
Julia Child1912200492 years
Famous chefs who lived a long life

As you can see that there are some chefs who have lived a long life even getting into their 90s. some chefs died young. even if you look at chefs in our time. Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay, and Wolfgang Puck are going strong even in their 60s and 70s.

many people die young in life. that’s their destiny. there are things that we can’t do anything about. and there are things that we can do to make sure we live a good long healthy active life as professional chefs.

In future posts, we would talk about what you can do to increase the life expectancy of a chef.


Cooking fumes can create respiratory problems for chefs (sciencenorway.no)

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