Changing a Generation’s Future Health
By Kostas Trakas
Each day we are presented with the opportunity to make important decisions about our health. Most people don’t even realize they are making these decisions, but when they are strung together these moments determine both the quality and quantity of life we will experience. A series of poor choices can be catastrophic leading to a downward spiral in our health. Some decisions can help us turn our health around and allow us to experience a transformational improvement in our lives.
For example, the average man will enter their adulthood in the best physical condition of their lives. From that point onwards, they will experience a constant assault on their health. Everything from excessive alcohol consumption and poor nutrition in their 20’s – the party years – to greater stress and more time spent sitting at work or during the commute between work and home. Work-related stress and sleep deficits become even more acute once children arrive. All this happens with a commensurate reduction in physical activity. The consequences can be catastrophic: weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health issues.
Today, we lament at the generations that have succumb to these forces. Aside from the human impact our healthcare system has inherited a substantial financial burden. As our parents continue to age, we are left having to decide how to pay for all the healthcare they will require. Our healthcare system is belatedly making small changes to try and address this crisis. Unfortunately, it may be too late to make a meaningful impact for the Baby-Boomer generation. The reason? The only tool capable of delivering the scale of change required across this population is prevention. Unfortunately, we are about 40 years too late for that.
At Nutu, we believe that we need to intervene now to prevent future generations from passively adopting the same behaviours that have led to our parents’ health dilemmas. So, where do we start? We start with the Millennials. We help them make the small course corrections to their health trajectory – keeping them healthier longer. One aspect Nutu has chosen to address is the decline daily activity as we age. High levels of activity seem to overcome a wealth of poor health behaviours. We believe that creating a positive cycle of health behavior adoption requires that new behaviours to be attractive enough to be practically addictive. They need to be reinforced by equal parts entertainment and motivation. Stay tuned for updates as Nutu prepares to release our solution.