In this article, The King’s Fund explores some of the most significant health-related behaviours, their impact on our health and wellbeing, and how they are changing over time in England. We also look at how some behaviours vary with people’s socio-economic status.
Current lifestyles present a serious threat to population health, particularly for more disadvantaged groups
66 per cent of the adult population are not meeting recommended minimum levels of activity; 70 per cent do not consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables; 26 per cent are obese; 21 per cent smoke; and 27 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women drink more than recommended safe limits of alcohol. Although reported levels of physical activity are rising and levels of smoking are declining slightly, rates of obesity are predicted to continue to rise. The rates are higher in more disadvantaged groups. These behaviours significantly increase the risk of chronic
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