Health ad­vances add to those reach­ing cen­tury

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

THE odds of hit­ting 100 years of age are greater than ever be­fore.

Luck and ge­net­ics play a big role, but ad­vances in health, ed­u­ca­tion and dis­ease preven­tion and treat­ments have also con­trib­uted to in­creased longevity.

Life ex­pectancy in Aus­tralia has im­proved dra­mat­i­cally for both sexes, with those born in 2011 ex­pected to live 33 years longer than those born 100 years ago.

Over the past 20 years, the num­ber of cen­te­nar­i­ans has in­creased by 263 per cent.

Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics data shows in the 12 months to June 30, 2014, the num­ber of peo­ple aged 100 and over in­creased by 490 to more than 4000.

Women are still liv­ing longer, with 3200 of those women.

While peo­ple are liv­ing longer, other chal­lenges in­clude obe­sity, which has over­taken smok­ing as the lead­ing cause of pre­ma­ture death and ill­ness in Aus­tralia.

Those want­ing to live longer and health­ier can chose lifestyle and di­etary changes which can be as sim­ple as eat­ing more fruits and veg­eta­bles and cut­ting out soft drink. There’s also mak­ing the choice to walk rather than driv­ing the car to work where pos­si­ble.

Eat­ing meat spar­ingly and cut­ting back on sugar and al­co­hol, along with reg­u­lar health checks and floss­ing your teeth are also life­savers.

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