'Middle age health crisis' warning
December 28, 2016 3:06 pm
Middle-aged people in England face a health crisis because of unhealthy lifestyles, experts have warned.
We are living longer, but are in poorer health because we store up problems as we age.
The campaign’s clinical adviser, Prof Muir Gray, said it was about trying to make people have a different attitude to an “environmental problem”.
“Modern life is dramatically different to even 30 years ago,” Prof Gray told Radio 4’s Today programme. “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,” he added.
Many people no longer recognise what a healthy body weight looks like, say the officials – and obesity, which greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, is increasingly considered normal.
The PHE website and app has a quiz that gives users a health score based on their lifestyle habits by asking questions such as, “Which snacks do you eat in a normal day?” and “How much exercise do you get every day?”
The questions are simple, but the results are revealing, says Prof Kevin Fenton, director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE.
“The How Are You Quiz will help anyone who wants to take a few minutes to take stock and find out quickly where they can take a little action to make a big difference to their health.”
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Dr Ellie Cannon said PHE recognised that the “sandwich generation” was “incredibly busy”.
“This is about making small changes that can have this really big improvement for your long-term health,” she added.
“People want this, people want the help… it is not encouraging people to take on board anything expensive or anything complicated.”