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Modern lifestyle harming health of middle-aged people: study

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Mid age couples enjoying meal at home

London: Modern lifestyle is taking a toll on the health of middle-aged men and women, according to a new study in the UK which shows that obesity has become the new normal as many cannot identify what a ‘healthy’ body looks like, reports PTI.

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Eight out of 10 of the middle aged either weigh too much, drink too much or do not exercise enough, according to the new analysis from Public Health England (PHE).


About 83 per cent of 40- to 60-year-olds (87 per cent of men and 79 per cent of women) who are either overweight or obese, exceed the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) alcohol guidelines or are physically inactive.

“Modern life is harming the health of the nation: 77 per cent of men and 63 per cent of women in middle age are overweight or obese,” researchers said.

Obesity in adults has shot up 16 per cent in the last 20 years. Many also cannot identify what a ‘healthy’ body looks like, suggesting obesity has become the new normal.

The diabetes rate among this age group also doubled in this period in England. Obese adults are more than five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who are a healthy weight (a BMI between 18.5 and 25). Ninety per cent of adults with diabetes have Type 2.

People are busy with work, with families, with the daily grind and sometimes their own health is the least of their priorities.

“The demands of modern day living are taking their toll on the health of the nation, and it’s those in middle age that are suffering the consequences most, as their health reaches worrying new levels,” said Muir Gray, Clinical Adviser for the PHE’s One You campaign, which provides support and tools to help people live more healthily.

“Just making a few small changes will have significant benefits to people’s health now and in later life,” said Gray.

“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,” said Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK.

“There are an estimated 11.9 million people at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the UK because of their lifestyle and more than one million who already have the condition but have not yet been diagnosed,” Howarth said.

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“Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as amputation, blindness, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease,” he said. “We know how hard it is to change the habits of a lifetime but we want people to seek the help they need to lose weight, stop smoking and take more exercise,” he added.