The continuing rise of lifestyle-related diseases and chronic disorders means that we need to take a fresh look at health and healthcare, and to remember that prevention is better than cure. Many of the studies of health expectancy focus on measures such as physical impairment or disability in functional tasks or presence of a specific chronic disease. However, self-assessed health, being much more global and subjective in nature, can incorporate a variety of aspects of health including cognitive and emotional as well as physical status, and therefore provide insights into the needs of an aging society.
When it comes to healthy eating, there is an overwhelming array of theories, diet books and online information about what to eat – which is often conflicting. Although the research is still ongoing and developing, what the experts all agree on is that our diets are too high in sugar, our portions are too big and we should eat a variety of whole natural foods.
Write down a plan of action to follow if your symptoms become severe and you are unable to take part in day-to-day activities. Include the names of your health care providers, medications you would and would not prefer to be given, facilities where you would and would not prefer to be treated, and other important information, such as medication allergies. Also include necessary insurance information such as provider, group number, and phone number.
We want to help people make the right choices for themselves with regard to their health, availability for work, and productivity. This is no easy matter, given what we face every day – like the ‘impulse-buy’ sweets displayed at the supermarket checkout,” says Peter van Dijken, managing director of the Healthy Living unit. TNO, together with government authorities, knowledge institutes and companies, is developing technological and social innovations that promote good health and work availability, and which therefore lead to a healthy, vigorous, and productive population – as well as lowering national healthcare costs and increasing economic growth.
Even if you don’t add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Some aspects of our health and vitality are governed by our genes and how our mother behaves during pregnancy, but many lifestyle factors, including fitness, diet and weight all impact on our ability to live a long and healthy life.