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NHS bill tops 11 billion pounds as lifestyle associated illnesses keep rising

New figures released by Public Health England (PHE) show that health problems related to poor diet and lifestyle habits are costing the NHS now more than £11 billion each year.
The new report reveals that health costs for treating illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), resulting from eating an imperfect diet, drinking alcohol or smoking, are spiralling out of control.
Latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics indicate that around four out of 10 middle-aged people already have a long-term condition like type 2 diabetes, smoking-related bronchitis, cancer, and heart disease.
At this pace, the NHS could soon become unaffordable, as not only chronic diseases are skyrocketing, but an elderly population is also increasing because of the baby boom back in the 1960s.
According to Rebecca Wagstaff of PHE, the rise in chronic diseases is particularly stark in areas of high unemployment and poverty across the UK, such as in the town of Fleetwood in Lancashire.
Chronic diseases take years off Fleetwood inhabitants’ lives. The PHE figures found that a man living in the Pharos ward of Fleetwood dies nearly seven years younger compared to more prosperous parts of town and the rest of England.
According to local GP Dr Mark Spencer, standard public health messages don’t resonate with most people there. And Fleetwood is not alone, many towns and communities across the UK face similar problems.
There is a need nationally for a broad range of different approaches, such as educating children in primary schools about food and diet, working with local sports clubs to encourage people to get active, and creating more open green spaces in the town.
Unless officials start tackling these epidemics of chronic illnesses head-o, with more focus on stopping their development through science-based diet and exercise prevention, the costs of the NHS will keep rising really rapidly.
Currently, in an attempt to reduce that cost, the government is trying to decrease pay for the people working in the NHS and increase their working hours, which can only lead to a poorer service in the long run.
Over the coming months and years, the challenge should instead be transforming the health of the people at risk for chronic diseases by turning the conversation from what’s making them ill to what makes them well.
For people with type 2 diabetes or prone to diabetes, the latest science shows that a low-carbohydrate diet is, for example, a good, cost-effective way of keeping the disease under control.

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