28 Dec 2016

Public Health

Bristol Adults Urged to Take a Little Action for a Big Difference

 • 83% of 40-60 years olds are either drinking too much, are inactive or are overweight or obese
16% increase in the number of overweight or obese adults in the last 20 years
Diabetes rates have doubled amongst this age group in this period  – 90% of adults with diabetes have Type 2
Bristol City Council and Public Health England (PHE) are urging adults in the South West to take action to improve their health, citing figures which show they are taking many unnecessary risks.
Local people aged 40-60 in particular are being encouraged to take the One You quiz, which will give an immediate assessment of current health and wellbeing.
Levels of alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and obesity are generally increasing amongst the region’s adults. Only rates of smoking are showing signs of declining. 
In Bristol around six in ten people are either overweight or obese, around four in ten are physically inactive, and approximately three in ten drink more than the recommended allowance.  The One You campaign provides free support and tools to help people change their habits and live more healthily in 2017 and beyond. 
This is also a national problem. Across England, 77% of men and 63% of women in middle age are overweight or obese. Obesity in adults has shot up 16% in the last 20 years. The diabetes rate among this age group also doubled. 
Councillor Fi Hance, Bristol City Council Cabinet Member for health and wellbeing, said: “Modern life is busy and some of the things that have been designed to make our lives easier may actually be damaging our health in the long term. Many of us work long hours in sedentary jobs, which means that we’re not very active and may rely on convenience food, but it’s so important to find time to prioritise health. We’ve just launched our new LiveWell Bristol website which is designed to signpost people to local services – whether that’s about losing weight, quitting smoking or getting active. It’s never too late to improve your health.”
Last year 3,000 local people attended a weight loss session with the council’s help, and they lost an average of 9lb each – or together more than a crowded double decker bus. Local stop smoking services also supported 1,600 people on their journey towards quitting.
The new year is an ideal time to take a moment to consider making simple changes to become healthier – the One You quiz can help you get started. It takes lifestyle information, gives a health score and then links to free localised information and tools for making positive improvements.  
Russ Moody, Health and Wellbeing Programme Lead for Public Health England South West, said: “The How Are You Quiz will help anyone who wants to take a few minutes to take stock and find out quickly where they can take a little action to make a big difference to their health.” 
More than 1.1 million people across England have taken the quiz so far and where appropriate, been directed to download apps like Couch to 5K, Alcohol Checker and Easy Meals.  Visit www.livewellbristol.co.uk to take part.