As Europe’s Population Ages, WHO Wants Governments To Ensure Healthier Lifestyles
Next year in Europe, it’s estimated people older than 65 will outnumber people younger than 15, with attitudes and habits needed to be adjusted accordingly.
As Europe’s population ages rapidly, the World Health Organisation has stressed the need for governments to start investing in preventing poor health in old age now.
A new WHO report wants governments across the continent to do more to instill better habits, advocating healthier lifestyles to ensure well-being in advanced years.
COVID-19 Pandemic Highlighted A Key Fact
According to Stephen Whiting, WHO Europe’s Technical Advisor on Sport and Health, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown healthier people are better able to withstand diseases.
“There is data that shows that physical inactivity, overweight and obesity were a huge risk factor for severe COVID-19 outcomes and long COVID-19,” he noted.
Among the recommendations are healthier Mediterranean-style diets, with particular focus on staying active and taking regular exercise.
An Insight Into Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating that emphasises plant-based foods and healthy fats. You eat mostly vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Research shows such a diet can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, support healthy blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, and help you live longer.
Nonetheless, the Mediterranean Diet doesn’t look the same for everyone. It’s important to talk to a dietitian about your individual needs and goals.
Cost Of Physical Inactivity On Health Systems
“[$8.47 billion] per year could be saved if more people were physically active and meeting the WHO recommended levels of physical activity,” said Whiting.
The organisation advises “moderate-intensity aerobic exercise” for at least two and a half hours each week for healthy people over 65. This can be a brisk walk.
Alternatively, for fitter people, the WHO recommends 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercises such as jogging or swimming.