Some Britons are willing to take a vow of celibacy if it means they can live to be one hundred, with 40 percent of people prepared to give sex altogether.Women would be more willing to trade sex for a longer life (48 percent) compared to just 31 percent of men, while 39 percent of those polled would be ready to sacrifice eating and drinking whatever they wanted or travel (42 percent) to ensure they lived to 100.
The findings are just a small part of a snapshot of ageing Britain commissioned for the BUPA Health Debate which brings together key influencers to discuss topical health issues.
The Ipsos MORI research reveals that if Britons had a choice, they only aspire to live on average to 85. On the issue of when old age begins – the young and old are divided. The 16-24 year olds see it as commencing at 61, while those of 75 and over see it as being marked at 71.But nearly half (49 percent) agree scientists should continue to keep trying to prolong people’s life spans, while 45 percent of us agree it is everyone’s duty to live as long as possible.
When asked about the main advantages of science being able to extend life, 16 percent said to be there for family and friends and 14 percent to see grandchildren grow up.
Over half (51 percent) believe high priority should be placed on treating the very elderly on the NHS even when those resources could be used to treat younger people. Those aged 35-74 are most in agreement with this while more women (55 percent) than men (47 percent) see it as a high priority.
Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, BUPA’s medical director said: “Britain is facing an ageing time bomb with major challenges presented by retirement, the desire to live longer and the increasing burden of caring for older people. However, the question has to be asked can society cope, with only one in three (32 percent) believing that an ageing population brings more benefits than problems. It would appear Britain wants to have its cake with 100 candles and eat it!”