Tuesday, December 11, 2018
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Most of us are doing unhealthy things that may lead to our early deaths

(Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

It’s all fun and games until a medical expert says you’re destroying your body.

Nearly nine in ten people are guilty of unhealthy habits that may lead us to our early deaths, a new report from Health Survey for England suggests.

Just 13% of those surveyed were found to be leading healthy lives, meaning that 87% of Brits are making at least one unhealthy lifestyle choice.

Those unhealthy lifestyle choices include boozing it up, smoking, failing to eat five portions of fruit or vegetables a day, having low levels of physical activity, or being classed as obese.

87% of English adults were doing at least one of these naughty things, while 19% held three or more unhealthy habits.

How many units are in your drinks?

• Standard (175ml) glass of wine, 13.5% ABV – 2.3 units
• Large (250ml) glass of wine, 13.5% ABV – 3.4 units
• Pint of standard lager – 2.3 units
• Pint of premium lager – 2.8 units
• Pint of strong cider – 4.7 units

At least we’re not alone in plodding along to an early grave, right?

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Alongside highlighting just how many of us are making unhealthy choices, the research looked at our overall public health.

The survey found that 64% of adults are overweight or obese, and that 5% of women and 2% of men are classed as morbidly obese – meaning they had a BMI of more than 40. Back in 1993, when the survey began, just 1% of women were classed as morbidly obese.

(Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

Researchers noted that children with obese parents are more likely to be obese themselves, with 28% of children of an obese mother also being classed as obese, compared with 8% of children with a mother who was not overweight or obese.

The survey also found that a high rate of people have undiagnosed diabetes. Researchers gathered information on 8,000 adults and 2,000 children, including taking blood sugar measurements. 20% of adults with diabetes were found to be undiagnosed.

Diabetes has been on the rise over the last decade, going from 3% of men in 1994 to 8% in 2017.

The majority of us aren’t consuming the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables – just 29% of adults and 18% of children aged two to 15 are ticking off that target.

On a more positive note, it does look like smoking and drinking to excess are decreasing in popularity. In 1993 27% of adults were smokers, now just 17% are, and the numbers of children trying alcohol have dropped from 45% in 2003 to 14% in 2017.

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Yes, the majority of us need to make some changes. But the good news is that it’s not too late to get healthy.

While most of us are living unhealthy lifestyles, four in ten adults have no signs of ill health developing… yet.

Load up on fruit and veg, ditch the booze, quit smoking, and try to get more physical activity in your day. Basically, do what you know you’re supposed to be doing.

MORE: Alcohol is killing more women than ever before

MORE: Sleep texting is on the rise – here’s why it happens and how to deal with it

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