Boomers Health - Disease Prevention Series

Introduction

 

Part I

How to live successfully in the 21st Century

 

Glenn Sargent

For Boomers Health

© Copyright Boomers Club Pty Ltd Audust 2016


INTRODUCTION.

There are three causes of death and debilitating health conditions. They are accidental injury, communicable disease, and non-communicable disease.  Boomers Health focuses on non-communicable disease.  These are diseases we don’t catch from bacteria, virus, fungi and the like; since these are all communicable diseases. Modern medical science does a wonderful job of fixing us when we are broken by an accident. It has also virtually eradicated death from infectious disease in modern 1st world societies.  The fly in the ointment is non-communicable diseases, diseases we don’t catch, we just get them. These can be anything from diseases that affect eyesight like glaucoma, painful arthritic diseases, through to the major life threatening diseases like Type II diabetes, Heart disease and Cancer. Medical science has done a great job of addressing many components of these ailments with early detection techniques and surgery.

This being said, it is still often the case that medicines simply manage the diseases and do not cure them. Simple logic and common sense dictates that prevention really is better than cure when it comes to these diseases.  Boomers Health credo is to add years to our lives and put more life into those years; and it is now known that lifestyles are the major influence relating to noncommunicable disease risk.  There is an avalanche of advice and recommendations on healthy lifestyles; most  relating to the “do this and don’t do that approach”, IT DOESN’T WORK.

Why do so many of us live an unhealthy lifestyle, and why are so many people overweight, and why is it so hard to make lifestyle changes? Boomers Health has researched why this is so, and shares the knowledge and techniques that can be used to make permanent lifestyle changes (including weight loss) with its members, so  that they can add years to their life and put more life into those years.

 


Evidence Based Research

The articles you will find here are based on our review of research published in quality medical scientific journals and databases. This is a time consuming and expensive task and in itself raises issues. Unfortunately politics and vested interests exist in the field of medical science. Many health research articles are based on relationships without reference to “cause and effect”, and in some cases the experiment or trial may be constructed in order to obtain a particular desired result, in some others the conclusions drawn may not even be backed by the experiments or trials actual results. Finally some research is clearly influenced by the source of funding for that research, or financial benefits that have been received by the researchers doing the work. Boomers Health also has to be careful that its own views do not influence, which research should be accepted or rejected, it’s not easy.

 

One fact though stands out and holds true, the major life threatening chronic diseases take decades to develop and are age related, the older we become the greater the chance we have of being diagnosed with one or more of them.  

The commonsense conclusion is that any approach that can slow biological ageing is also likely to postpone diagnoses of life threatening diseases to older ages than would have otherwise been the case.  Hence Boomer’s health approach to adding more useful years to our lives is centered around lifestyle changes that can slow the aging process, and which are also supported by the weight of evidence based medical science.


DOES LIFESTYLE REALLY MATTER

Our Biological Age

The most disturbing and recent evidence comes from results of the Dunedin Trial.  In 1972 the children born in the city of Dunedin (just over 1000 births) have been followed, regularly tested, and questioned.  Many now no longer live in the city but each few years they return to it for medical testing and screening, and to answer questionnaires; a process that takes two full days each time.

Some of these tests are used to determine their “Biological Age”. This can be said to be the age of their organs relative (as indicated by the tests) to the average.  

 

At the last update the participants were aged thirtyeight and their biological age could be as low as 34yrs and as high as 46yrs; those at the older end actually looked older as well.  The study has also found one item that was related not only to their biological age, but also their wealth status, happiness and general well being.  The study calls it childhood “self control”, and individuals who had poor “childhood self control” had worse health indicators, worse wealth indicators and worse happiness indicators as they reached middle age. You can watch a 35min presentation by the Dunedin leader HERE.


LIVING SUCCESSFULY IN THE 21st CENTURY

In 21st century Australia we have labour saving machines to do our work (less exercise), oranges and apples are available 24hrs a day 365 days a year, as are most foods. Our supermarket shelves are filled with processed foods, which have been designed by the manufacturers and marketers to optimise sales, not our well being. Too many boomers are also leading isolated lives or lack significant social engagement and this is also related to ageing diseases.

The 21st Century environment is not one that human evolution has prepared us for.  Life is also more complicated and hence more stressful, parking meters (a freaking stressful device) were only introduced in Australia in 1955 (would you believe it was in Hobart).

To add more years to our lives, and put more life in those years in 21st century Australia we need knowledge and self control. The Dunedin study implies that the “trait” of self control is fixed in childhood forever, we disagree.  

Self control could be described as “consciously not doing something you want to do”.  This requires willpower, and willpower rarely works in the long term.  

It is possible to permanently change what we “want”, and when we do, self control is no longer so difficult.  

Boomers Health explains how our brain works and techniques to modify our wants so that it becomes much easier to modify lifestyles and enjoy the results. This is especially important for anyone who wishes to lose or manage weight, and reduce the risk of age related chronic disease.  Changing our wants so as to reduce the need for self control is not beneficial unless we have the knowledge to make the right decisions. Boomers Health knowledge base will be upgraded as needed in order to provide the most up to date evidence based knowledge that is important to our well being.


Laughter is Good For Us

Watch these kids dealing with their "Self Control"