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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 23:49 GMT 00:49 UK
Many would 'want to live to 100'
Hand
Many people want to live to be 100
Many Britons would give up favourite things, including sex, to reach 100 years of age, a poll suggests.

Some 40% said they would give up sex - half of women and a third of men - 39% food and drinks and 42% travel.

But the Bupa survey of 1,003 people found 94% would not give up the company of family and friends and three quarters would not sacrifice money.

People cited being there for family and seeing grandchildren grow up as the main reasons for wanting to reach 100.

What society needs is a little help in becoming healthier by cutting back on unhealthy food and drink
Angela Mawle, of the Public Health Association

The poll, carried out by Mori for Bupa, also revealed half thought scientists should continue to keep trying to prolong people's lifespans, while 45% thought it was everyone's duty to live as long as possible.

But the point at which people thought old age was reached differed between age groups. The 16 to 24-year-old aged group see it as starting at 61, while those over 75 said it kicked in at 71.

However, people did acknowledge they were concerned about how society would cope with an ageing population.

The over 80s population is predicted to double to 5m by 2031, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Struggle

A third said society would struggle to support a growing number of elderly, while nine out of 10 said the current healthcare system would have to change.

Bupa medical director Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen said: "Britain is facing an ageing time bomb with major challenges presented by retirement, the desire to live longer and the increasing burden of caring for older people.

"However, the question has to be asked can society cope?"

Angela Mawle, of the Public Health Association, said: "I think what we can take from this is that it shows people do want to live a longer, healthier life. They want to change their habits, but their actions do not always mirror this.

"What society needs is a little help in becoming healthier by cutting back on unhealthy food and drink."


SEE ALSO
Blair calls for lifestyle change
26 Jul 06 |  UK Politics

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