A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. From sugary drinks to breakfast cereal, it’s hard to get away from sugary foods. Often the sugar is hidden in canned goods or pre-packaged foods, or even in foods we think are healthy for us, such as fruit juice. The average person takes in about 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day. According to the American Heart Association the daily target should be no more than six level teaspoons for women, and nine for men—that’s for both food and beverages combined.
Data collected include health variables (e.g. self-reported health, physical functioning, cognitive functioning, health behaviour, use of health care facilities), psychological variables (e.g. psychological health, well-being, life satisfaction), economic variables (e.g. current work activity, job characteristics, opportunities to work past retirement age, sources and composition of current income, wealth and consumption, housing, education), and social support variables (e.g. assistance within families, transfers of income and assets, social networks, volunteer activities). Based on probability samples in all participating countries, SHARE represents the non-institutionalized population aged 50 and older.
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.
There is nothing more damaging to a long, healthy life than smoking, which is estimated as the reason for death or disability in half the people who smoke. The dangers of smoking tobacco are so significant that it is the most important public health problem in the world, which ironically, is largely avoidable.
A Healthy Life Years (HLY) improvement is the main health goal for the EU. The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) aims to increase the average healthy lifespan of Europeans by 2 years by 2020. 44 per cent of the diabetes burden, 23 per cent of the ischaemic heart disease burden and between seven and 41 per cent of certain cancer burdens that are attributable to overweight and obesity. (Source: The World Health Organisation).