If you thought active ageing starts at 60, think again

Current statistics on obesity and chronic diseases reveal a concerning trend, with a growing number of obese children and adolescents in Singapore, as well as an increasing prevalence of diabetes, heart conditions, and cancers among young people. These are warning signs that young people are accumulating lifestyle risk factors from an early age which could lead to future health problems in old age.

Professor Teo Yik Ying, Dean of the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Vice President (Global Health) at the NUS Office of Global Health, suggests redefining “active ageing” to encompass a lifelong commitment to healthy living, emphasising the importance of starting health-seeking behaviours from young.

Prof Teo highlighted that besides government initiatives like Age Well SG and Healthier SG programmes to promote overall well-being and tackle root causes of ill health among seniors, we also have to address the impact of digital marketing on health literacy in shaping the behaviours of today’s youth towards health. He concluded that fostering healthy habits in youth is essential to achieve active ageing and prevent health issues later in life.

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