You would think that the UK Government would be encouraging us to eat, drink and be merry, not warning us of the dangers of over-drinking, smoking, and doing no exercise. There'll be no money to pay either pensions or the NHS, so we might as well have a really great time, and go out with a bang early.
I find it rather distasteful that they try to party-pooper us into a long old age on the one hand whilst removing the means by which we may enjoy it on the other.
The latest effort to bring us into a strict, no nonsense line is by warning us about the dangers of fun things in relation to the onset of Alzheimer's.
How much is seven years of sanity worth to you? It could cost you drinking less than two units of alcohol and no more than 20 fags a day to prevent the early onset of Alzheimer's. Considering that not everyone is liable to catch this disease, we are, as usual, all being thrown into the same bucket and exhorted not to enjoy ourselves just in case.
Maybe the Government ought to be researching our likelihood of catching Alzheimer's, then we would know whether to refuse that third class of wine, 21st fag, and get out the pilates video and elastic band instead.
I think the Government should come clean. It seems to me that they are going down the path of 'I told you so' about being healthy, so if one refuses to follow the exhortations and blatant nannying, then we will be punished by reduced access to medical care. Although, as the less healthy die younger, they should be able to offset medical costs against reduced pensions payments.
Not only must you drink sensibly and not really smoke too much, but you must also, by the age of 40 have low cholesterol or you will be one and a half times more likely to get Alzheimer's by your older age. It's reckoned that 2.5million people could have dementia within 50 years if they don't radically reform their dissolute lifestyles. For the moment, Alzheimer's affects 'only' 400,000 and it's already a strain on NHS budgets looking after them.
If the Government wanted to save money all round, and reap in wads in taxes, it should be encouraging us to smoke, eat and drink to excess making us all die young but happy. It would save on pensions, and NHS care for the old and batty because we'd die before we reached that point.
As it is, the Government want us to lead sober, hard-working lives where we pay out in taxes so much that there is nothing left for fun, but when we get to a much-deserved retirement age, they'll turn round and tell us there is nothing in the kitty for our pension and the NHS is bankrupt so we'll have to pay for private health care. This will be so expensive for the retired that they won't be able to afford it so they'll die early, having lead a joyless life. A bleak prospect.
You might just as well go out and have fun while you may. The alternative is dire and the end result is the same.