As time went on, the younger generation wasn't so thrilled about life in Roseto, which to them seemed immune to modernization. The young people were seduced by the American Dream. They went off in search of education, money, fame, and shiny, flashy things. They went off to college and brought back to Roseto new ideas, new dreams, and new people. Italian Americans started marrying non-Italians. The children strayed from the church, joined country clubs, and moved into single-family suburban houses with fences and pools.
With these changes, the multigenerational homes disbanded and the community lifestyle shifted gears from nightly celebrations to more of the typical "every man for himself" philosophy that fueled the neighboring communities. The neighbors who would regularly drop in for casual visits started phoning each other to schedule appointments. The evening rituals of adults singing songs while children played with marbles and jacks turned into nights of social isolation, zoning out in front of the television.
In 1971, when heart attack rates in other parts of the country were dropping because of widespread adoption of healthier diets and regular exercise programs, Roseto had its first heart attack death in someone younger than 45. Over the next decade, heart disease rates in Roseto doubled. The incidence of high blood pressure tripled. And the number of strokes increased. Sadly, by the end of the 1970s, the number of fatal heart attacks in Roseto had increased to the national average.
As it turns out, human beings nourish each other, and the health of the body reflects this.