Why we are going to live longer than our kids


“I am going to outlive you”

I was joking with my son as he tucked into a pizza and chips, but maybe this is no joking matter.

The sun was shining, sending shards of light across the water. People were smiling as they crunched over the pebbles on the beach and overhead seagulls were screeching looking for anything they could scavenge. It felt so good to be alive.I am a morning person and I love to be out and about with other morning people. You sense the positivity especially from people walking and running. This energy can be infectious. I always return home for breakfast feeling energised and ready for my day. There are the people who just sit and look out to sea, thinking, meditating, being still, living in the moment maybe or visiting memories of childhood, playing on the beach.

Occasionally I stop and take a break to have a chat. You can meet a lot of people when you are out walking. During the lockdown, we are only supposed to go out for an hour, so I like to make the most of it. Exercise is good for you but so is social interaction.

One of the biggest problems in society is loneliness so it is not surprising that people venture out. A simple ‘Good Morning’ can make a big difference to someone if they are struggling. Hence I have started to talk to more people. Maintaining my distance,

I am happy to see John. I see him every morning watching the sun come up, we always say hello and exchange a few words. Over the week our daily conversations have lengthened and today he opened up enough to tell me that he had lost his son a few years ago and now his daughter was terminally ill. His story touched me. No parent as we often say should outlive a child. It is not in the assumed order of things.

I remember how my grandmother struggled when my Mother who unfortunately lost her life to breast cancer, she was only 47. My Grandmother carried a pang of guilt for years after, saying that it should have been her that died. A few years later I almost faced the same trauma when my daughter was struck down with a possibly fatal disease. Without a doubt, I would have changed places with her so she could survive. Fortunately, she pulled through.

Recently I have read reports that because of an obesity epidemic amongst younger people, they will probably be the first generation to die at an earlier age that is expected of their parents. This has been popularised by Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver and we now can say that obesity has grown in the world, up from 875 million in 1980 to a staggering 2.1 billion today.

According to Jaimie Oliver, 20% of primary school children are leaving school with obesity. These kids are over FIVE times more likely to have obesity as adults and have a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes, cancer, heart and liver disease.

Our food choices are like a minefield to work through, a trip around a busy shopping market becomes exhausting as we navigate through price offers and fancy packaging especially when it comes to what food manufactures want us to feed our children. The Diet Debate of what we should or should not eat has become never-ending.

One thing that has come forward during lockdown is the way people have returned to more traditional cooking. People have been sharing and experimenting with food choices.
Most of us want to make sure our kids are healthy but sadly some of us struggle by not having enough knowledge and continue to ignore the guidelines of healthy eating that we should use to encourage the next generation.

As our older generation are living longer due to advances in medical care and healthy lifestyles, allowing our kids to get caught into the trap of bad eating habits can be deemed as irresponsible on the part of the parents. Sadly, there is more to it. We have to question our governments and the regulations put on the food industry. We have to question education and bring back domestic science and nutrition into our schools. We have to read the packaging, and all get together to understand what we need to live a long and healthier life.

We owe this to our kids. If we set an example we can break the circle. John’s children are in their adulthood, I do not know the cause of their illnesses, possibly nothing even to do with their eating habits. John feels helpless, because of COVID19 he cannot visit his daughter, so he watches the sun come up and smiles at passers-by. I am so impressed with his strength and feel his pain but I also feel his gratitude that I take the time to stop and talk.

There are some situations we have no power over. All we can do is our best. I arrive home and make myself a protein shake for breakfast and open up my laptop……..Now, what shall I write about?

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