Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beware, Young People are Growing Older

We have all heard for years that the life-expectancy of modern man is continually increasing and in the future humans can expect to live much longer lives. We also read headlines in periodicals that proclaim that "50 is the new 40" and "60 is the new 50". This is because baby boomers are living healthier and longer lives than their parents did. Some scientists have said that we can possibly live 150 years and more in the future.

This may all be changing. I have read a brief but very interesting article titled "30 Is the New 45" in the June/July issue of ACAnews, the magazine of the American Chiropractic Association. Written by Dr William Morgan, it highlights recent research in Holland into modern adults, who have been followed for 25 years to monitor their health.

The essence of the article is that the trend of increasing lifespan and good health into old-age is changing and is likely to plateau and then start falling. This is all because modern young adults are not eating properly and not exercising enough. The research has found that their bodies are ageing much faster than their parents and even their grandparents. Their bodies at 40 years of age are the equivalent condition of their parents at 55. This is showing up in a massive increase in obesity rates and health conditions like diabetes and heart conditions. This is despite reductions in the number of people who smoke and continually improving medical care and technology.

Those conditions are developing much earlier than in previous generations so those people will die sooner and have more health problems to burden their shorter lives. I guess that a short and unhealthy life may be better than a long unhealthy life but isn't the best option a long life that is filled with good health and happiness?

The numbers are pretty bad and much more so among women than men. They show that obesity has increased 20% among men and a staggering 50% among women, when comparing generations. This latter fact is particularly disturbing because it is the woman of the family who takes care of the entire family and makes the major decisions about what her family will eat. If she can't make sensible food and beverage decisions for herself then what chance is there that she will make good decisions for her family?

I was at a trade show this past weekend and had the opportunity to observe the visitors for three days. Often there were families of three generations roaming around together. For many of them one can see the progression in those three generations, with mother more obese than grand-mother and the children obviously continuing the trend. If the children are being started off so badly in their pre-teens then they are destined to a short life that is filled with bad health.

At this trade show there were also many, many fit and healthy people, men and women who very clearly take good care of themselves, with plenty of exercise and decent food choices. As can be expected, their families looked good as well. Those are the people that can expect to live longer and much more satisfying lives.

What has all this got to do with psoriasis and arthritis? Plenty. Severely excessive body weight and bad food choices impact on all manner of health conditions, including psoriasis and arthritis. Both are conditions that are characterised by inflammation, which is aggravated by bad nutrition. Psoriasis is aggravated by perspiration and chafe, both of which are made worse by having rolls of flesh rubbing against each other. Arthritis is aggravated by the joints having to support more weight than they are intended to carry, wearing out the cartilages and bone surfaces sooner.

We all have to take decisions for ourselves about all aspects of our lives and then we have to live with the results of those decisions. We should not expect society to fix our lives or our bodies when we were just too lazy or too careless to do a proper job of it ourselves. Pumping our children full of absolutely trashy food and sodas because they want it or it is the least hassle for us at the time can only result in seriously diminished quality of life in the future. Why would anybody do that?

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