Healthy living to save the NHS?

We Healthy living is our insurance policy. So put the snack down, run around the block and stop killing the NHS and your future.

Research out this week from the University of Newcastle’s Institute for Ageing, predicts that without committing to healthy living  adults will grow up to be senior citizens who simultaneously suffer several different lifestyle-related and complex to treat, diseases, also known as multi-morbidity.

Ignoring healthy living – the future is grim

In older age we face being admitted to hospital with a collection of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and maybe dementia. Having all these diseases will make treatment, length of treatment and potential for repeated hospital stays the bane of our older years . Not only that, our treatments will put unimaginable pressure on the NHS. Yet, this appears to be the future of older adults in 2035. 

The reason for older patients carrying multiple diseases is our nation’s propensity for being inactive and obese. That’s right, according to the research; the effect of our collective eating too much and moving too little are that they are risk factors for those multiple health problems in our later years. Treating those serious health problems will also be an absolute nightmare for the NHS (which was really only designed to deal with one problem-per-patient at-a-time). We may all be about to live longer, but we will probably be doing it encumbered by chronic disease.

Healthy living in old age illnesses

Changing approaches

So, what to do about it? Researchers recommend a change in approach to the way diseases are treated (making provision for those who do have more than one disease) but also making an effort not to get to that point in the first place, by focusing on prevention, or in our case in England, getting more exercise, healthy eating and living truly healthy lifestyles.

What do you think; are you worried that we might kill the NHS with our late night snack attacks? What can we do to promote healthy eating and healthy living? How can we build a healthy old age?

For the full report: Projections of multi-morbidity in the older population in England to 2035: estimates from the Population Ageing and care Simulation (PACSim) model, Age and Ageing


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