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Health warning for Wales

11th October 2011

Dr Tony Jewell, the Chief Medical Officer in Wales, has said that the population's unhealthy lifestyle could cause life expectancy to decrease.

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He said people did not do enough exercise, with only one third of the population getting the recommended daily amount.

The problem is compounded by illness caused by obesity, smoking and alcohol.

He added that the number of young people starting to smoke and drink had decreased, but the problem facing adults was a serious one.

Dr Jewell's report said bold measures needed to be taken in order to address the "lifestyle factors".

"Unfortunately adult smoking levels remain comparatively high at 23%," he said.

"The number of adults that undertake the recommended level of daily physical activity are around 30%, and around 22% of adults are classified as obese." 

He said the decrease in young people beginning to drink and smoke was a "welcome finding and a trend we must sustain as these crucial early influences are critical to life chances and future healthy life expectancy".

Public health charity ASH Wales published information on Monday which showed an estimated 38 teenagers every day who have never tried smoking have their first cigarette.

The data was published in advance of a conference on smoking and alcohol on 12-13 October.

 

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