For years since the 1980s, we have seen the population start to live longer and the indications have been that the expected age will continue to rise in the future.
I have never bought into this idea. I’m aware that medicine keeps lots of people alive longer, though not necessarily in a healthy state. But there is no way that people can keep living longer. Those that are old now are a difference breed than those coming up. They lived through simpler times, where food was made from scratch. They went through the Second World War when vegetables were more plentiful than meat and sugar; they worked hard but had less stress.
When in practice as a nutritional therapist I always spent the first consultation taking a thorough case history of the persons life including health problems, drugs taken, operations, diet and lifestyle. What was interesting was that the older the client the shorter the case history was. This was not because they had poor memories but rather because before the advent of the national health system there were fewer interventions and less drugs.
Nowadays so many younger people live on junk food – some hardly ever touching a piece of fruit or a vegetable. The working population generally lives stressful lives, working long hours often sitting at computers all day. They frequently drink too much and often live on too much convenience food. Add to that more polluted air, food, and water – more drugs consumed whether recreational, over the counter or to combat illness, and you can see that we have a recipe for problems.
I don’t think that it’s possible that the generations coming up can keep living longer. Of course there will be exceptions – there always are. This turnaround is now being borne out by evidence. Health chiefs are being baffled by the biggest rise in deaths in half a century – this rise started in 2013 and has continued each year since then. Those in charge of research say that there doesn’t seem to be any specific reason for this increase. To me there seem to be lots of different reasons – what I would be interested in is whether this increase is across the board or more specific to certain age groups?