The increasing burden of frailty and chronic poor health currently accompanying longevity is a public health problem and there is a challenge to health researchers to find ways to help people improve their health and maintain their well-being throughout the course of their lives. There are many factors that affect a person’s health as they grow older, including the amount of exercise they do, how active their social life is and their diet. Studies show that the effects of simple changes can be drastic. Adopting a Mediterranean-style diet, for example, which includes more fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and cereals, and less red meat, dairy products and saturated fats, can reduce the risk of cancer by 24%, the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s Disease by 52% and the risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 36%.
LiveWell is a five year multidisciplinary research programme that aims to develop and pilot an integrated suite of well-founded, pragmatic interventions, such as encouraging people to eat according to a Mediterranean diet, that are effective in promoting health and well-being in later life. These interventions could be rolled out across the country if proven successful. In November 2010 there was a launch event at the Great North Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne for which we developed a multi-user interactive installation that allowed users to carry out activities that would raise awareness about healthy foods and portion sizes.
Press release: Live well for a longer and healthier life
See also: Livewell Interactive Installation
Date: Mar 2010 – Feb 2015
Funding: MRC: Medical Research Council £2,196,724
Principle Investigator (PI): John Mathers (IAH: Institute for Ageing & Health).
Co-Investogators (CIs): Paula Moynihan (IAH), Martin White (IHS: Institute of Health & Society), Lynn Rochester (IAH), Falko Sniehotta (IHS), Ashley Adamson (IHS), and Thomas Meyer (Institute of Neuroscience).
Internal Collaborators (Colls): Patrick Oliver, Lynne Corner (IAH), Mike Catt (IAH), Thomas von Zglinicki (IAH), Mike Trenell (ICM: Institute of Cellular Medicine), Suzanna Moffat (IHS), Araujo-Soares (IHS), John Matthews (Maths and Statistics) .
Researchers: Jack Weeden