Our ageing population, is it true?
Contrary to accepted wisdom, which tells us of an ageing population that will absorb an increasing amount of resources, in her book Good Health in the 21st Century, author and GP Dr Carole Hungerford states for the first time in human history, we have produced a generation which is not expected to outlive its parents.
Throughout the West, nations are anxious about an ageing population, that in the years ahead the proportion of the population working to support those of retirement age will decrease as the proportion of population of retirement age increases. Currently economies world wide are starting to feel the burden of an increasing percentage of retirees. In Japan for instance, in the 1980s, there were 15 people working for every retiree; now there are 3.5.
However, this population demographic boom may be shortlived as this is due to the growth of the population born between WW1 and WW11 when minimal sugar and fat were consumed, when there were few cars, when pesticides did not permeate the food chain and industrial farming and food 'manufacturing' (!?) practices were still in their infancy.
If we consider the rising incidences of obesity, of depression, of asthma and a plethora of other health indicators in our youth, baby boomers and beyond (pretty much everyone born after 1960), it appears clear that the projected increasing longevity of our population may be based on incorrect assumptions. Average human life expectancy may well fall over the next decade or two as the impacts of toxic pesticides and fertilisers, of environmental pollution, of additives and of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle start to be seen.
In this book, Dr Hungerford discusses and challengers the ageing population assumption, the tendency of modern allopathic medicine to overprescribe medications, the value of diet, the cancer epidemic, environmental pollution, HRT and many other health related issues.
By Mark O'Brien