Eight out of 10 of the middle aged either weigh too much, drink too much or don’t exercise enough, according to new analysis from Public Health England which suggests our busy lifestyles are in part to blame.
PHE says 77% of men and 63% of women in middle age [aged 40 to 60] are overweight or obese and that obesity in adults has shot up 16% in the last 20 years. It states that many can’t identify what a ‘healthy’ body looks like, suggesting obesity has become “the new normal”.
The diabetes rate among this age group has doubled in the last 20 years in England, says the report. Obese adults are more than five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who are a healthy weight (a body mass index between 18.5 and 25). Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as amputation, blindness, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.
The PHE has created an online quiz, called ‘How Are You’, which takes lifestyle information, gives a health score and then links to free localised, personalisable information, apps and tools such as Couch to 5K, Alcohol Checker and Easy Meals.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE, said: “People are busy with work, with families, with the daily grind and sometimes their own health is the least of their priorities.”
Professor Sir Muir Gray, Clinical Adviser for the One You campaign, added: “The demands of modern day living are taking their toll on the health of the nation, and it’s those in middle age that are suffering the consequences most, as their health reaches worrying new levels.
“Over 15 million Britons are living with a long term health condition, and busy lives and desk jobs make it difficult to live healthily. But just making a few small changes will have significant benefits to people’s health now and in later life.”
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