Posted on Dec 04, 2018, 9 p.m.
According to data from the Health Survey for England the majority of adults are so unhealthy they are putting their lives at risk with results showing that nearly 9 in 10 have at least one unhealthy trait.
Half of adults are suggested to have 2 or more of these risk factors which were classed as those who smoke, those who drink more than 14 units of alcohol, those who eat fewer than 5 portions of fruits and vegetables, and those who are obese with low rates of physical activity.
There are signs of people giving up on some unhealthy traits such as smoking, but others still remain such as parents giving children alcohol too young. 33% of men and 31% of women had combination of two risks: for men the highest combination was that of alcohol/low fruit and vegetable intake; for women the highest was low fruit and vegetable intake/obesity. Lowest combination for men was tied with smoking/alcohol intake and inactivity/obesity; for women the lowest combination was smoking/alcohol.
The survey and results were published when the Office for National Statistics revealed the latest death rates linked to alcohol showing that in 2017 close to 7,700 people died within the UK from alcohol specific causes where death was wholly attributable; which is the equivalent to 12.2 deaths per 100,000 people and is the highest rate in a decade. Scotland had the highest rate of the 4 UK nations.
The annual survey asked 8,000 adults and 2,000 children questions regarding their lifestyles and compared lifestyles of children to their parents for the first time; results suggest that children from obese parents were 3 times more likely to be obese than those from parents of healthy weight. Findings showed that 28% of children from an obese mother were also obese compared to 8% from a mother of healthy weight; and 24% of children from an obese father were also obese compared to 9% from a father of a healthy weight.
Children are bombarded by promotions of unhealthy foods and drinks all day long from tv, stores, magazines, radio, billboards, and online advertisements. These findings highlight the need to tackle the increasingly obesogenic environments that are largely contributing to globesity.
Smoking is falling, in 1993 27% of adults were smokers compared to now at 17%, but growing numbers are turning to vaping. Alcohol intake to excess is also down, leaving the most common unhealthy trait being low fruit and vegetable intake.
Around 4 in 10 adults have no signs of ill health developing yet such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels despite high levels of unhealthy lifestyles.
Children are showing signs of becoming healthier, demonstrating less risky behaviors such as only 5% of 15 year olds had tried smoking which is down from 19% in 1997; and the numbers from trying alcohol are down from 45% in 2003 to 14%.
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