It’s time for a big decision – one that could even save your life

Figures published this week demonstrate clearly that well over 80% of middle-aged adults are putting themselves at serious risk though their unhealthy lifestyle, and millions of people are now living with some form of long-term health condition.

Couple sitting on couch with crisps and phone, mid section

Many Health Authorities, including Public Health England, say they want people to turn over a new leaf in 2017 and make a pledge to get fit. Over 80% of people aged 40 to 60 in England are overweight, snore heavily, drink too much or get too little exercise, the government body warns.

We are living longer, but are in poorer health as we age, and Prof Muir Gray, the campaign’s clinical adviser said it was about trying to make people have a different attitude. Modern life is dramatically different to even 30 years ago,” Prof Gray stated. “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.”

In line with this, experts at the London School of Economics have called for the suggested daily calorie intake of 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men to be reduced. They claim that technology allows people to work, socialise and shop without leaving the sofa, and has driven the obesity crisis.

Being overweight is the key problem and many people no longer recognise what a healthy body weight looks like, say the officials. Obesity, which greatly increases the risk of diabetes, is increasingly considered normal. Overweight or obese adults are more than five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are at a healthy weight.

As explained last week, it’s a vicious circle. Putting weight on causes you to snore which influences snacking and increases appetite. The added weight which results causes further snoring and we then eat more again as a result. This is a problem that is easily resolved of course and a simple medically approved mouthpiece can be purchased online which will stop your snoring immediately. It’s inexpensive, and no prescription is needed.

It is obviously important to eat less, or differently, to exercise more than you normally do, and also to reduce alcohol consumption if possible. Preventing snoring will assist greatly. You’ll sleep better and feel well rested and it will result in a reduction in your desire for late night snacking and overeating as we described previously.

The figures for the United Kingdom are not unique and are typical of most other developed countries. An analysis of national data by Public Health England reveals that 87 per cent of men and 79 per cent of women in middle age are either overweight or obese, exceed the weekly alcohol guidelines or are physically inactive. The rate of diabetes in this age group has more than doubled in the past 20 years and snoring is the alarm bell.

More than 25% of 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.”

Guidance issued by the chief medical officer warns that while no amount of alcohol can be considered safe, adults should not consume more than 14 units a week — the equivalent of about seven 175ml glasses of wine. In the 40 to 60 age group a quarter of men and women regularly consume too much alcohol, according to PHE, increasing their risk of liver disease and at least five types of cancer.

The health watchdog announced this month that people who had two or three alcoholic drinks a night would be sent for liver scans by their GPs to deter “heavy drinking”.

Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK, said: “We know that people often bury their heads in the sand when it comes to their general health but the consequences of doing nothing can be catastrophic.

“There are an estimated 11.9 million people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the UK alone because of their lifestyle and more than one million who already have the condition but have not yet been diagnosed. They need to take action in this matter now”.

John Redfern