Experts have warned that millions of middle-aged Brits are overweight with unhealthy lifestyles.
As millions of Brits start to look back on the Christmas indulgences and think about a New Year health kick, those aged between 40-60 have a little more to reflect upon with Public Health England’s findings.
- 8 out of 10 are overweight, drink too much or get too little exercise
- The population is living longer, but is in poorer health because of lifestyle choices
- Many people no longer recognise what a healthy body weight looks like – obesity is increasingly considered ‘normal’
Professor Muir Gray (clinical adviser), said the objective was to make people have a different attitude to an “environmental problem”.
“Modern life is dramatically different to even 30 years ago.
“People now drive to work and sit at work.”
“By taking action in mid-life… you can reduce your risk not only of type 2 diabetes, which is a preventable condition, but you can also reduce your risk of dementia and disability and, being a burden to your family.”
Around 40% of deaths in England are directly related to behavioural choices such as exercise, food intake, alcohol and smoking. Simple measures and small changes can improve long term health:
- Exercise – guidelines suggest at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, 5-days-a-week, as well as two 30-minute sessions of strengthening exercise.
- Food intake – becoming overweight or obese increases your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. A healthy balanced diet with sensible portions and plenty of fruit and veg is recommended
- Alcohol – men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Regularly drinking more than this can increase the risk to your health.
Those looking to make major lifestyle changes – starting on exercise regimes, tackling type 2 diabetes through diet, or quitting smoking for example – could seek support from the GP. Especially if there are any health concerns.
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