BBC Science

Healthy LifeHealth professionals, policy makers and individuals can potentially improve the chances of having a healthier life by addressing the complex interactions between genetics, development, and life events and lifestyles. We are helping civilians and professionals make the best choices by collecting data on individual levels of health and risk and turning this data into valuable information that enables us to give proactive advice. This information can contribute to structural behaviour changes and healthier lifestyles. We are convinced that lifestyle changes are the medicines of the future.

The two components of the calculation of the HLY in the EU are the mortality tables and the activity limitation data assessed by health surveys. Life tables which give mortality data for calculating life expectancy are fully available as a demographic long-term series based in the standard procedures of causes of death registration harmonised at EU level.

A Healthy Life Years (HLY) improvement is the main health goal for the EU. The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) aims to increase the average healthy lifespan of Europeans by 2 years by 2020. 44 per cent of the diabetes burden, 23 per cent of the ischaemic heart disease burden and between seven and 41 per cent of certain cancer burdens that are attributable to overweight and obesity. (Source: The World Health Organisation).

1 Eat ‘primally’ Common sense dictates that the best diet is one based on foods we’ve been eating the longest in terms of our time on this planet. These are the foods that we’ve evolved to eat and are best adapted to. Studies show that a ‘primal’ diet made up of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as meat, fish and eggs, is best for weight control and improvement in risk markers for illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. This ‘go primal’ food philosophy will enable you to cut through the marketing hype and dietary misinformation, and allow you to make healthy food choices quickly and confidently.

The researchers looked at data from a representative sample of 4,745 people who participated in the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In this survey, physical activity was measured with an accelerometer that participants wore for a week, and diet was scored based on a 24-hour food diary.