The World Health Organisation (WHO) is urging governments to introduce sugar taxes and raise the price of alcohol as it believes Europeans are the “world champions” of unhealthy living.
British women have the second lowest life expectancy of the 15 western EU countries.
From the age of 30 to 74 British women have higher death rates than the european average. We have not reduced our alcohol consumption as much as other countries and 63% of UK adults are overweight compared to a european average of 57%.
A baby girl can expect to live to 82.7 in this country with only Denmark worse at 82.1. Spanish women have the longest life expectancy at 85.5 years. But overeating and drinking risk children living shorter lives than their parents.
“there are so many factors, lifestyle but also access to healthcare, early screening and detection of disease, prevention of disease” that could explain the gap said a WHO spokesperson.
Europe as a whole drinks and smokes more than any other part of the world and only America is fatter. (Although England is slightly better than its european neighbours in that regard)
And within England there are variations of up to seven years in women’s life expectancy. “Healthy behaviours, whatever your age, and effective care and support can help people have longer, healthier lives than ever before. There’s only so much medical technology can do“.
Tougher action is needed on the price of cigarettes, alcohol, and unhealthy foods but the government has so far rejected calls for this from health leaders.