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Time To Take Responsibility For Our Health

Jun 8, 2008
It's said that money is the root of all evil but the correct saying is that the love of money is the root of all evil. That and the love of cakes, chips, crisps, creamy curries, in fact, all the tasty things that money can buy. Why, I hear you ask? Because along with this money comes the ability to live a wealthier lifestyle and peoples lack of self discipline that means they eat like the rich and are now dying like the rich.

In fact, our unhealthy diets are at the root of the world's biggest killer - obesity through too much bad food and a sedentary lifestyle. Heart disease and strokes are all linked to our unhealthy lifestyles and diets and are costing our life insurance companies a fortune. Cardiovascular diseases brought on by a rich diet along with smoking related cancers are all preventable deaths but are still the ones that make the most payouts from life insurance.

Lifestyle does have an effect on life insurance premiums and the better we look after ourselves the cheaper the life insurance and the wealthier we will be, thus being able to afford more cream cakes. Bowel disease, asthma and diabetes are also life threatening illnesses that can be aided or even prevented by implementing a healthy lifestyle and diet.

It is said that a third of all cancers in the UK could be prevented by a change in lifestyle and diet. Cutting out junk foods and becoming a little more active are changes that could see many of us living to a ripe old age and getting much more enjoyment from that time also. A third might not sound like a lot but when you think that equates to 95,000 people who could go on to have more productive, longer lives, that is a vast amount of people that suffer unnecessarily every year.

The cases of womb cancer have been growing among the population and this is just one of the cancers that is hidden by obesity. Life insurance pays out for thousands of cases of this type of cancer every year making it a sad and avoidable statistic. The binge drinking culture has just added to the causes and problems.

Mouth cancer, often associated with binge drinking and smoking has increased by almost a quarter over the last decade and is in line with the easier availability to the younger generation of alcohol and cigarettes. These figures can be expected to continue rising dramatically if people don't take the initiative and limit their indulgent lifestyles.

Despite scaremongering news reports about how certain foods are bad for us, it's not that difficult to implement the necessary changes. Limit your intake of red meat to three portions a week, avoid processed meat wherever possible, keep alcohol to one or two drinks per day, avoiding the weekly binge and give up smoking.

Replace junk food with more fresh fruit and vegetables and ensure you get a good supply of whole grains and pulses. Not many people relish the thought of regular gym visits but this isn't necessary. Simply moving around more helps. Stop putting off that housework and do it with gusto. Take the stairs instead of the lift.

Take a stroll one or two evenings a week instead of sitting in front of the TV. It's the little changes that count and it is these that will add up to a longer, healthier life.
About the Author
Health expert Catherine Harvey looks at the effects on life insurance premiums of reigning in our lavish lifestyles.
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