Martin Daubney suggests a 'vegan tax' as they 'live longer'

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The King’s Fund detailed how life expectancy has fallen from 79.9 years for men in 2019 to 78.6 years since the Covid pandemic; for women, life expectancy has dropped from 83.6 years to 82.6 years. These statistics stand in line with life expectancy seen a decade ago, highlighting the steep downward trend. Moreover, the number of years people spend in poor health can be decades long.

Living a long life may only be pleasurable if you are in good enough health to enjoy it.

Up till 2019, an English male could expect to spend 16.6 years in “not good” health.

As for English women, the number of years spent in ill health averaged around 19.9 years.

The National Institute of Ageing (NIH) pointed out four “action steps” to influence healthy ageing.

The first action step is exercise, with the NIH stating: “Regardless of your personal feelings, exercise and physical activity are good for you — period.”

Everyday activities that keep your body moving – such as walking, gardening, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator – can make a world of a difference to your long-term health.

Regular bouts of exercise reduces the risk of diseases and disabilities that often occur with ageing.

To elaborate, balance exercises help to prevent falls, a major cause of disability in older age.

Meanwhile, strength exercises help to build muscle and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Stretching exercises are also beneficial in helping to keep the body limber.

Another action step is to manage your weight and shape; this means to make sure you do not fall into the overweight or obese category.

“People who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis,” the NIH expanded.

However, being too thin can lead to higher mortality rates, so people are best aiming for a healthy body weight.

“Talk with your doctor about any weight concerns, including decisions to lose weight or any unexplained weight changes,” the NIH added.

The third action step is diet, as food has been shown to be an important part of how people age.

“Healthy eaters” are said to have the highest intake of high-fibre cereal, low-fat dairy, fruit, non-white bread, whole grains, beans, legumes and vegetables.

However, being too thin can lead to higher mortality rates, so people are best aiming for a healthy body weight.

“Talk with your doctor about any weight concerns, including decisions to lose weight or any unexplained weight changes,” the NIH added.

The third action step is diet, as food has been shown to be an important part of how people age.

“Healthy eaters” are said to have the highest intake of high-fibre cereal, low-fat dairy, fruit, non-white bread, whole grains, beans, legumes and vegetables.

Healthy foods generally have a lower glycemic index value, which can help to curb hunger and stabilise blood sugar.

Whereas foods with a higher glycemic index value tend to cause the highest rise in blood sugar.

Foods to limit include red and processed meats, potatoes, fast food, and soda.

The NIH said: “The nutrients you get from eating well can help keep muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of the body strong throughout life.”

The last action step to take is to “participate in activities you enjoy”, such as hobbies and leisure activities.

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