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Wednesday 26th June 2019

UK one of the unhealthiest nations

15th December 2010

New data suggests the UK is one of the unhealthiest nations in Europe.


The UK is the fattest EU member, has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies and also performs badly on female cancer survival and infant deaths, according to figures from the Association of Public Health Observatories.

However, life expectancy is better than some other EU countries, action on smoking in the UK had a positive impact and the country excels at treating heart disease.

Data from all 27 EU countries was compared across 37 health indicators for 2006 for the survey.

But the UK fared badly on obesity levels with the West Midlands having 29% of adults obese compared to 19% in London and the EU average of 14%.

Researchers acknowledge there could have been improvements since the data was collected.

Researcher Dr Claire Bradford said: "This type of data allows us to compare not just between countries but within countries and to look at what is going well and what is not.

"People that are able to influence which way we are going as a nation should look at this to decide on priorities and actions. Our problem with obesity might be a good place to start."

Professor Steve Field of the Royal College of General Practitioners said he was appalled at the figures, particularly for obesity and said more needed to be done to get people to take responsibility for their own health.

The Department of Health said action to tackle health inequalities was at the centre of its approach to public health.


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