Life expectancy set to reduce due to worsening lifestyles

The news that obesity levels amongst ten-year-olds grew to 25 per cent during the pandemic should concern everyone.

Some 10.7 per cent more children in the most deprived decile are obese compared to the least deprived decile.

Obesity was not the only collateral damage from the measures imposed over the pandemic, with alcohol related deaths up and mental health problems increasing exponentially.

The obesity problem has much to do with our increasingly unhealthy way of living.

Lack of exercise, with increasing numbers of sedentary jobs.

So many people work in front of a computer screen, as well as being locked to their mobile phones for work and leisure.

Exercise is less part of daily routines and more a leisure time activity to be undertaken as and when.

Then there are the deficient diets of so many people.

Unless, there are some radical changes in the way people live, life expectancy is going to shift into a reverse free fall

The generations that have been living longer were born post Second World War. They had healthy diets and active lifestyles.

Now the reverse is becoming the norm.

Advances in health treatment also helped increase life expectancy in the past but the cutting of NHS budgets over the past ten years has contributed to the reversal now taking place.

Not to mention that had successive governments invested rather than cut the NHS, the country would have been far better prepared to deal with Covid.

What we need now is to promote more active lifestyles and better diets.

So much of what has gone on over recent decades has amounted to backward steps

People used to walk and cycle to school. Now we struggle to get them out of their cars and back to that form of travel.

There does also need to be massive investment in the NHS, so that it can cope with the demands as they arise.

The pandemic offered a wake-up call regarding dangerous trends in our society, the time has come now to heed those warnings and radically change the way we live.

Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See

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