Latest Public Sector News

07.03.16

LGA supports new campaign to prevent illness through lifestyle changes

Adults need to implement lifestyle changes to avoid serious illness later in life, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said as it backs a new Public Health England campaign.

The campaign, One You, aims to help adults include increased sleep, exercise and healthy eating in their lifestyles, as well as reducing smoking, drinking and stress.

Illnesses related to behaviour cause around 40% of deaths in the UK and cost the NHS more than £11bn each year. The risks get worse as people get older, with 42% of adults in mid-life living with at least one long-term health condition which increases their risk of early death and disability.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the LGA’s community and wellbeing spokesperson, said: “Councils, which have responsibility for public health, wholeheartedly back the One You campaign, aimed at adults, which will help people take greater responsibility for their own health and encourage small but important lifestyle changes that can significantly improve a person's wellbeing, and minimise the risk of developing a serious illness later on in life.

“We want this campaign to jolt adults into action, and to realise that it's never too late to make those important changes to their lifestyle which could be the difference between developing a long-term health condition or living a long and healthy life.”

Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical advisor for the One You campaign, said: “Although it has been customary to blame people for their ‘lifestyle’ we now appreciate that we need to take into account the environmental pressures that make it difficult to make healthy choices, having to sit 8 hours a day at work for example, and then drive an hour home.”

He added that One You is designed to help every individual identify not only their risks but also the pressures they face in their life and the stress that results, and then support them with personalised tools and advice.

The NHS has also announced a new ‘healthy towns’ initiative, to provide funding to towns to develop environments which foster healthy lifestyles.

However, the LGA has also warned that £200m a year reductions to the public health grant will limit the ability of local authorities to carry out prevention and early intervention services.

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