Australians now in their 20s and 30s could live to be up to 130 years old, an anti-ageing expert has predicted.
Prof Avni Sali of Swinburne University’s School of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne said the key to longevity was within reach.
He said enough was now known about how to minimise the risk of killer diseases such as some cancers and heart disease to avoid serious threats to lifespan.
The tools for a long life, including regular exercise, a diet high in fruit and vegetables and being smoke-free, were well known and just had to be applied, he said.
“People have the potential to live to 130,” he said. “With all we now know about good health, there’s no reason that we can’t.”
But Prof Sali warned the future was not as bright for those aged under 20, or 40 and above. Children and teenagers were losing the battle against obesity and related health problems.
“For the first time in human history, the current generation may not live as long as the previous one because of the obesity problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, older Australians were being killed by the stresses of work.
“Those over 40 have the strongest work ethic,” he said.
“Every day there’s more stress. We work the longest hours in the developed world. Our overtime is only second to South Korea.”
Australia’s best hope of reaching up to 130 rested with those in their 20s and 30s, who were more likely to take holidays, exercise, eat well and care for their bodies.
Prof Sali said: “You have to be able to have your half-hour walk each day. It’s anti-everything – anti-stress, anti-cancer, anti-obesity, anti-heart disease.”