Wednesday 7 December 2016

Ignore the gloomy hand-wringers, we are actually getting healthier

Endless negative talk about health issues obscures the fact that people are living longer lives

Published 22/05/2016 | 02:30

Drinking: We are already close to the top of the European league table of drinkers, and reports of people having liver failure at younger ages are common
Drinking: We are already close to the top of the European league table of drinkers, and reports of people having liver failure at younger ages are common
Waist: We are on course to become a nation of fatties Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

The health service is in crisis. Obesity rates are soaring and Ireland is on course to be one of the world's fattest nations in the next decade. We are already close to the top of the European league table of drinkers, and reports of people having liver failure at ever younger ages are common. Suicide is at epidemic proportions.

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Last week, a major new report on excessive use of antibiotics warned of the rise of untreatable superbugs. Last Friday, as changes to EU plain packaging laws for cigarettes came into effect, the European Commission pointed out that smoking last year killed 700,000 Europeans prematurely. Outlawed drugs continue to take their toll.

With so much grim news going around about health, one might think that everything is going to the bad. But that would be very wrong. For all the negative factors affecting our health, the positive ones are outweighing them as we get healthier year in, year out. There is every reason to believe that this happy trend will continue.

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