A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. Get to know your local market – not only because the food is fresh, varied and cheap (especially just before closing), but also because it’s an enjoyable and friendly way to shop and meet people. If near enough, walk there with a shopping trolley, so you get some exercise and fresh air too. For example, if you feel drowsy in the mornings, arrange to exercise in the afternoon. If you regularly crave sweet foods, keep fresh fruit or fruit snacks around the house instead of biscuits.
Healthy life expectancy at birth is an estimate of the average number of years babies born this year would live in a state of ‘good’ general health if mortality levels at each age, and the level of good health at each age, remain constant in the future. Similarly, healthy life expectancy at age 65 is the average number of remaining years a man or woman aged 65 will live in ‘good general health’ if mortality levels and the level of good health at each age beyond 65 remain constant in the future.
Cut down on processed food. Processed food is not good because (a) most nutritional value is lost in the creation of these foods and (b) the added preservatives are bad for our health. Many processed foods contain a high amount of salt, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease. In general, the more ingredients a food has on the label (ending with ‘ite’ or ‘ate’), the more processed it is. Eating 50 grams of processed meat a day has also been found to increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. 7 Go for less processed food, such as a baked potato over chips, a fresh fruit over canned fruit, steamed fish over canned fish, or organic produce over food with high preservatives.
For this reason it is important to see a GP regularly and have periodic checks of weight, waist measurement and blood tests for cholesterol, blood sugar, and liver function among others. The doctor can also advise on a healthy lifestyle, including an improved diet, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and sleeping well, for example.
Admittedly, some benefits may come from weight-loss. Earlier trials from Calerie had included people that were obese as well as those with a healthy body mass index (BMI) of 25 or below, and slimming down would have certainly improved the welfare of the heavier participants. One thing that’s been very clear for a long time is that being overweight or obese is bad for you,” says Roberts. Diseases and disorders previously thought to be age-associated diseases are now popping up in the obese population, she adds.