, 2022-09-22 18:00:15,
Camilla Cavendish (Opinion, September 17) is right to draw the connection between people in their fifties and sixties not working and their state of health. This is the beginning of a recognition that good health is an investment, not a cost. The NHS backlog and long Covid have both had an impact on people’s ability to work. However, less than 20 per cent of health outcomes result from healthcare interventions and in this country we have a number of reasons for our poor health.
Poor diet is now the biggest risk factor for preventable ill health, narrowly ahead of smoking. It is estimated 40 per cent of NHS resources are spent dealing with illness caused by poor diet. Increased physical activity can lead to reductions in many cancers and diabetes as well as improved mental health. The NHS needs resources, but society as a whole and the whole of government needs to rapidly address the health and social costs of our lifestyle.
Founder, C3 Collaborating for Health, Previous General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing, London NW1, UK
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