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  1. ITV Report

Middle-aged Britons need to kick unhealthy lifestyles, say experts

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Rebecca Barry

As many as eight out of 10 middle-aged Britons have lifestyles that are putting their health them at risk, experts have warned.

Busy lives and desk jobs make it increasingly difficult to stay healthy, but research from Public Health England shows that 83% of those aged between 40 and 60 are overweight, drink too much or avoid exercise.

Officials with the health body said that nine in 10 men, and eight in 10 women (79%) are not doing enough exercise, exceeding the recommended limits for alcohol or are either overweight or obese.

87%
of middle-aged men need to make lifestyle changes according to Public Health England
79%
of middle-aged women need to make lifestyle changes according to Public Health England

Figures taken from the Health Survey for England show that 77% of men and 63% of women in middle age are either overweight or obese.

The rate of obesity has shot up 16% in the last two decades and diabetes rate among the middle-aged has also doubled in England over this period, PHE said.

The chair of the Health Select Committee Dr Sarah Wollaston said Public Health England's figures were another reminder that the government needs to do more to tackle the problem.

Speaking to ITV News she said, "We've been saying this for years and will keep saying it. The government hasn't gone far enough in its childhood obesity strategy."

Professor Sir Muir Gray, an adviser to Public Health England, told ITV News that modern living made it difficult to stay healthy, but that making tiny changes - even just 10 minutes of activity - could bring substantial health benefits.

"Building little bits of activity. Ten minutes - get off the bus three stops early ... we now know 10 minutes can make a difference," he said.

Public Health England is encouraging adults to take its One You - How Are You health quiz which may highlight problems and areas for improvement.

People who take the quiz and who are flagged as having a problem are directed to apps including Couch to 5K, Alcohol Checker and Easy Meals to help make those small changes.

Take the quiz here:

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