North Yorkshire County Council is supporting a new campaign from Public Health England that encourages adults across the country to make lifestyle changes to help avoid future diseases caused by modern day life.
Called One You, the new campaign is designed to help adults, particularly those in middle age, to take control of their health to enjoy significant benefits now, and in later life. Everyday habits – such as eating too much unhealthy food; drinking more than is recommended; continuing to smoke; and not being active enough – are responsible for around 40% of all deaths in England, and cost the NHS more than £11 billion a year. 90% of diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable by lifestyle changes such as exercise, weight loss and healthy eating.
Although people in North Yorkshire are generally healthy, there are variations across the county. The percentage of adults who do not take enough exercise range from 19% in Craven to 35% in Scarborough, and nearly one in four North Yorkshire adults are classed as obese. The number of adults who smoke varies from 13% in Hambleton to 20% in Scarborough – higher than the England average of 18.6%.
Latest figures reveal that life expectancy at older ages is at record levels, yet many people are spending their retirement living in ill health. Currently 15 million Britons are living with a long-term health condition, yet studies show living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70.
County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities and Public Health, said: “Modern day life makes it extremely difficult for people to live healthily, with bigger portions for everything we eat, a desk-bound job or a long commute.
“One You gives people the chance to reappraise their lifestyle choices, put themselves first and do something about their own health before it’s too late. It will help adults in North Yorkshire to move more, eat well, drink less and be smoke-free, and provides information on how people can reduce their stress levels and sleep better.”
The One You campaign complements the work the county council is already doing with partner organisations to combat risky drinking through the North Yorkshire Alcohol Strategy. It is also funding a smoking cessation service called Smokefreelife North Yorkshire and lifestyle weight management programmes in each of the seven district council areas.
One You encourages people to start by taking a new online health quiz, called How Are You? This innovative quiz provides personalised recommendations based on results and directs people to tools and advice to help them take action where it’s most needed.
For more information and to take the How Are You? online quiz, search for “One You” online.