Adults need to implement lifestyle changes to avoid serious illness later in life, a new Public Health England campaign says.
The campaign, One You, aims to help adults include increased sleep, exercise and healthy eating in their lifestyles, as well as reducing smoking, drinking and stress.
Illnesses related to behaviour cause around 40% of deaths in the UK and cost the NHS more than £11bn each year. The risks get worse as people get older, with 42% of adults in mid-life living with at least one long-term health condition which increases their risk of early death and disability.
Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical advisor for the One You campaign, said: “Although it has been customary to blame people for their ‘lifestyle’ we now appreciate that we need to take into account the environmental pressures that make it difficult to make healthy choices, having to sit 8 hours a day at work for example, and then drive an hour home.”
He added that One You is designed to help every individual identify not only their risks but also the pressures they face in their life and the stress that results, and then support them with personalised tools and advice.
The NHS has also announced a new ‘healthy towns’ initiative, to provide funding to towns to develop environments which foster healthy lifestyles.
Professor Kevin Fenton, national director at Public Health England, said: “For the first time, Public Health England is launching a campaign that talks to adults directly about all of the things they can do to improve their health.
“The scale of the campaign is unprecedented and includes new public and commercial partnerships with Asda, Slimming World, BBC Get Inspired and the Ministry of Defence.
“This will see One You in every community, on every high street, in local health services, on websites and in social media. We want everyone across the country to know that it is never too late to get your health back on track.”