Guest Blogspot: Gail Beer – Making healthy choices

At 2020health we are concerned with examining the impact that  decisions about health  and healthcare  make on society and the economy.  These decisions are not just about the government, policy leaders and health experts, but about the decisions you and I make everyday regarding how we live  our lives. Do we choose to smoke, drink too much alcohol,  eat too much salt, drink enough water, eat five times a day and exercise for 30 minutes?   We are bombarded daily with information about what we should and should not do to stay healthy.  It is difficult enough keeping up with all the advice, let alone trying to implement it in our time-poor, information overloaded society. Is it any wonder that many people are confused?

This morning I went to the launch of the Sainsbury’s Wells Project,  a year long programme that aims to show how community pharmacists can work alongside NHS services  to provide  a resource for advice guidance  and support in making healthy life style choices, like those above.  Ten families, all called Wells, will be encouraged and supported in making healthy choices by their pharmacist.  We at 2020 will be helping in the evaluation of the programme and we are excited about working on a project  that we feel is important given the enormity of the public health agenda and the anticipated impact of  unhealthy decisions on our future finances

Here at 2020health our research often leads us to explore the results of these  poor health decisions,  or we  recommend  to policy makers how to improve  health outcomes.  As a health think tank we thought about our own lifestyles and wondering how well we lived up to those ideas we espouse.   So, the team here have undertaken a programme  to walk the recommended 10,000 steps a day.  Over the next few weeks at the end of each blog a member of the team will reflect on how well they are doing in achieving this goal and review the  highs and lows.  So beginning tomorrow 2020health Pedometer Watch will make its first appearance. Stay tuned!

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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