Priorities change as we age and according to new research in terms of health they dramatically differ.
A new survey reveals that young adults want to fit and from aged 35 the key priority is happiness, for the over 55s the main focus is keeping our brain and memory functioning - which stage are you at?
The research among 5,000 men and women conducted by Centrum across the UK, reveals a distinct variation between men and women too. Whilst both sexes agree that being happy is their primary aspiration, women are more focussed on brain health, whilst men want to be fitter.
When it comes to achieving our health aims, there are considerable differences between the sexes and generations. Both men and women are equally consuming more fruit and vegetables than they did 10 years ago, but their reasons for doing so differ greatly.
Young people are most focused on eating healthily with 67% of 18-24 year olds now eating more fruit and vegetables than they did 10 years ago, compared with 57% of the 55+ age group. However, over a third of young people still say they are too busy with work to eat healthily and 63% admit to skipping meals.
One in five men admits their diet has only improved because a partner or relative has encouraged them to make better choices compared to just one in 10 women. For women, getting older has a bigger impact on healthy eating with 67% stating they have tried to be healthier as they age compared to just 59% of men.
Sarah Peachey, UK Medical Manager for Centrum commented, “Centrum’s 30 years of expertise in nutritional science means that we approach our multivitamins in a tailored way and formulate them according to people’s nutritional needs relating to their age, sex and lifestyle. With this research however, we wanted to go beyond physiological requirements and understand people’s emotional motivations for taking care of themselves and how those change with age and between the sexes.”
Despite the younger generation making the biggest improvement in healthy eating, the 55+ group still feel they have the best diet to suit their age and lifestyle. 45% think their diet provides all the nutrients they need, compared to just 28% of 25-34 year olds.
This might be explained by the fact that when food shopping, only 15% of the over 55s say nutrition is their main focus when meal planning, whereas 18-24 year olds clearly prioritise eating cheaply.
As a nation, happiness topped our health and wellbeing goals and surprisingly, the nation is less concerned with what they weigh, and set more on being fit and maintaining healthy brain function as they age.