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North-South health divide

10th October 2006

21092006_smoker1.jpgA new study entitled The Health Profile of England, has revealed a significant North-South divide in the nation’s health. 

The study, published on Tuesday, has revealed that people in northern areas have much higher obesity rates with Boston in Lincolnshire showing the highest levels of obesity for the entire country.  The study also showed that those living in the north of the country are more likely to suffer a smoking-related death and have shorter life expectancies than their southern counterparts.  Men in the north are likely to die two years earlier than those in the south according to the report.

In response to the study Public Health Minister Caroline Flint has said that people must change their everyday lifestyles to improve their well-being.  She also indicated that she would like to see the NHS more involved in preventative work in a bid to improve the health of the nation.  The government is also set to announce that supermarkets, schools and bus companies will be part of a renewed fight for the UK’s health.

The new report was designed to provide the most comprehensive picture yet of the state of the public's health and it is hoped the information contained within it will enable health chiefs to tackle inequalities in the nation’s wellbeing.  The UK has the highest obesity rate in Europe and this new report comes just two months after the Department of Health predicted 13m people in England would be obese by 2010 if nothing was done to tackle the problem.

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