Over the years there have been many national and local initiatives to ‘get the nation fit’, yet the 2019 Health Survey highlights 64% of adults in England are obese (28% BMI 30>) or overweight (36% BMI 25-30). Worryingly the obesity and overweight 2019/20 figures amongst the young are also increasing; Children aged 4-5 are 24% obese or overweight, rising to 35% in age 10-11 year olds. Then there is the disparity of health across the Nation. The Office for National Statistics (2016-18 data) highlighting how individuals living in the most deprived areas of the country, can expect to live approximately nineteen years less in “Good” health compared with those in the least deprived areas. COVID-19 has only magnified these and many other health inequalities throughout the UK. The healthier eating/increased exercise message is just not getting through. Individuals are suffering poorer health, while children are adopting poor health habits, and the UK’s prosperity is being affected in so many detrimental ways as a consequence. Research has consistently recommended making healthier living across all areas of society a cornerstone to improving quality of life. This would benefit all socioeconomic groups within the UK, whilst also boosting economic health as a consequence. The challenge is to have health and fitness become a way of life, a foundation for all of society with no exclusions. Policy must move on from intermittent campaigns in various guises, campaigns that are soon forgotten, and unsupported long term. Pro-active involvement is needed, imaginative initiatives that are followed through. COVID-19 and its devastating consequences, have starkly highlighted the positives of keeping active and maintaining fitness. This can now be the impetus to galvanise the nation and instil exercise and good health as a way of life for everyone, and generations beyond.
You must log in to post a comment.