In this month’s podcast, our moderator and former BBC World News presenter Nisha Pillai talks to Dr. Damien Ng, Next Generation Research Analyst at Julius Baer, and Esteban Polidura, Head of Advisory and Products for the Americas at Julius Baer, about how the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an era of raised health awareness in reducing risk factors while increasing the positive drivers of both physical and mental wellness alike.
Our personal well-being is highly dependent on the state of our health. That is why sages of the ancient world have long taught about the importance of the art of living a balanced lifestyle that combines fitness and health with emotional well-being and relationships. Despite the passing of time since such knowledge was discovered, healthy living remains as relevant as ever for the present-day world.
Has society in general changed to healthier habits or started healthier lifestyles over the last year? Has the pandemic accelerated trends that were already set in motion? Our Think Tank Podcast explains.
Listen to the podcast
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Growing health awareness, thanks to the pandemic
Covid-19 has prompted a growing number of people to turn to healthier lifestyle habits to keep their immune systems strong while boosting their psychological morale during these extraordinary times. As a recent survey conducted by US-based Parade/Cleveland Clinic revealed, 62 per cent of the respondents have adopted some form of healthy lifestyle changes since the emergence of the global health crisis, with 34 per cent of them consuming more healthy foods. But health awareness is not something new.
“Even prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 health crisis last year, the rising incidence chronic diseases and other health conditions had already prompted an increasing number of people to adopt healthier lifestyle habits”, says Dr. Damien Ng, Julius Baer’s Next Generation Research Analyst, during this conversation. After all, we are spending more time in office-work environments, and we are using our smartphones and computers more frequently. “The growing prevalence of sedentary activities is also not helped by the easy availability of processed foods rich in sugar, salt, saturated fats, and calories, along with more stress and anxiety arising from the frantic rush of everyday life, ultimately taking its toll on our mental well-being”, adds Dr. Ng.
Opportunities in the healthy lifestyle space
By educating people about the importance of health as they grow older, people are more likely to adopt good habits for the maintenance of optimal health and personal wellness. These good habits may include making intelligent eating choices, exercising regularly, as well as avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and harmful narcotics. As far as investing into the healthy-living space is concerned, a segmental investment approach is required since there is a diverse range of support, services and activities that are available for people wishing to lead better, healthier lifestyles.
Let’s take a look at the opportunities for the nutrition sector, for instance. In this social media age, the growing awareness of the importance of good nutrition is inescapable. “The long-term prospects for this segment are bright, especially for those companies focused on fresh fruit and vegetables, organic food and drinks, and health supplements”, says Esteban Polidura, Julius Baer’s Head of Advisory & Products for the Americas. “As for physical activity, people are increasingly aware that it is not enough to just eat and drink well. We need to live well too and that means keep moving. Companies producing athletic footwear, sports clothing, and wearable technology are all well-placed to benefit”, he completes.
More people are turning to healthier lifestyle habits to keep their immune systems strong after the outbreak of the Covid-19 health crisis. Beyond the physical aspect of health, the long-term mental well-being of individuals remains as important as ever. The consequence of people living better and happier will inevitably have profound implications for our society and economy.
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