At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 36

▲ INTERVIEW
about it from a young age in both
the home and at school.
'We could teach less academic stuff,
because, come on, who really needs to
know how to solve differential
calculus or quadratic equations,
I certainly have never had to!
'There is a hell of a lot else that is
important that a lot of adults today
haven't got to grips with, who would
be struggling a lot less if they had
been taught about these things at
school. Life lessons would be so much
more useful - skills such as dealing
with money, health awareness,
staying secure on the internet.
'I think we would see a whole new
generation of children growing up
very, very differently if we did this -
they would be far more rounded
healthy individuals.'

ON RESISTANCE
TO ANTIBIOTICS
'I really think this is the biggest health
disaster facing mankind - absolutely.
I don't think we are taking it seriously
enough and we are certainly taking
it into account far too late as the
resistance is already occurring.
'Not asking your GP for antibiotics
will help, of course, however, I don't
think over-prescribing is the main
problem, despite the press reporting
it like that. The availability of
antibiotics over the counter in Europe
is a massive problem. I think farming
is problematic, too, as they use a lot
of antibiotics and I think that must
get into our food.
'While science is always developing,
there may not be a lot of significantly
different groups of new antiobiotics
for us to discover. And this takes time.
And a lot of money.
'A lot of people mistrust "big
pharma", but it costs billions to
develop a drug and bring it to market,
so of course the big drugs companies
need to recoup this money.'

as they think they're immediately
going to catch some bug. Or they go
in to get tested every week for HIV
as they are so anxious.
'So now I'm concerned about, and
focusing more on, sexual health in all
areas, not just infections.'

ON MIND/BODY
CONNECTION
'Mental health problems, anxiety,
worries and depression all are much
more prevalent these days and being
open about this is a good thing.
'Our mental and physical health
is very connected; we need to focus
on the individual as a whole - body,
mind and spirit.
'There are lots of conditions we
can't cure - that we can only manage
- but if you help someone get their
head around it so they can deal with
their illness psychologically, they tend
to do far better physically, too.
'I think this is where switching off
is really crucial. Not enough of us
do it and certainly not anywhere near
enough. We're in bed, on our phones,
on tablets, and we end up not sleeping
properly. We're not taught the
importance of doing nothing.
'It's not selfish or self indulgent to
switch your phone off and spend quiet
time without interruption, time spent
contemplating or meditating, in fact
it's crucial. Doing this is a big part of
improving our health.'

ON HEALTH APPS
'For those of us in the scientific
community they are massively useful.
For example, there's one where you
can put in a picture of a tissue sample
and get 50,000 expert opinions from
around the world. It's like a really
nerdy game! It's a really powerful
tool for accuracy of diagnosis.
I also think if we could make our
medical history more easily

accessible, so you can see your vaccine
records, for example, that would really
help, too. In an age where you can get any
piece of information within seconds from
the internet, it doesn't make any sense
that you can't easily find out your own
medical history.
'But people are very worried about
security. So what if people find out I had
appendicitis at 25 - what does it matter?
I can see why there might be concerns
over HIV or mental health, but I think we
need to remove stigma and one way of
doing this is to make these subjects more
open, to talk about them.

ON HEALTHY AGEING
'I think that our sedentary lifestyles are
very bad for us, at any age, but it's really
important as you get older that you keep
moving. You may have aches and pains,
a bit of arthritis, but actually it's very
beneficial to your body to keep active.
It's not too late to even start an exercise
regime in your retirement.
'When you plan for retirement, it's
important not to just think financially,
but about lifestyle. Some people thrive,
take up a hobby, while other people just
sit in a chair until they die. Think about
all the things you want to do, make plans
for your later life - rather than think
about it as your life being done and
you're being put out to pasture.

ON ILLNESS
'As a nation, we tend to rank diseases
according to "worthiness" - cancer always
comes top, which is interesting as it's a
disease that is often caused by lifestyle.
'For example, many people tend to
look at sexual disease and mental
illnesses as though you've brought that
on yourself. This ranking of "worthiness"
doesn't make any sense.
'It's reinforcing stigmas and not helpful
or productive. Illness is illness, be it
mental or physical, and all of them
deserve equal treatment.'

ON SEXUAL HEALTH
'This has always been my specialist
field, but these days I'm focusing
more on the psychosexual area, the
hang-ups and performance issues
people have over sex, often due to
past bad experience.
'There is a lot of anxiety around
sex among young people. I have to
acknowledge that I may be partly to
blame for this, as I'm always on telly
banging on about the dangers and
risks of unprotected sex and it may
be that we've gone too far.
'I see a lot of twentysomething men
who are actually terrified to have sex
036 | FEBRUARY 2018

'WE'RE IN BED, ON OUR PHONES,
ON TABLETS, AND WE DON'T
SLEEP PROPERLY. IT'S NOT
SELFISH OR SELF-INDULGENT
TO SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE
AND HAVE SOME QUIET TIME
WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. IT'S
A BIG PART OF BETTER HEALTH'



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of At Home with Chris Jessen 2018

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