Over the last few years, there has been growing concern about the nation’s health. Obesity is a key focus for this concern, but so is poor quality diet, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of exercise, high levels of stress and family breakdown.
A steady stream of information and advice has been put out by the UK government in a bid to halt what is seen as a decline in the nation’s health. But are we acting on what we are told?
Hardly anyone can have missed the advice to eat ‘five-a-day’: that is five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Adults are recommended to limit their alcohol intake to 14 units a week for a woman and 21 units a week for a man. Few can fail to be aware of the link between a sedentary lifestyle and obesity and adults are recommended to have 30 minutes of moderate activity on at least five days a week. In the case of smoking the government has gone further than making recommendations to stop by banning smoking in public places, so making it harder to smoke outside of the home.
Yet it’s not only smoking, alcohol, poor diets and lack of exercise that are putting our health at risk. There is the long hours work culture or for some, lack of meaningful work. Add to this growing family breakdown and living life on the run. All these factors increase stress and our risk of anxiety, depression and tiredness.
These concerns formed the focus for a new research study commissioned by the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), the results of which you will find in the following pages of this report. TAP wanted to find out exactly how young and middle-aged adults are living their lives. How do they feel about their work, their leisure, their family life? Do they eat properly? Are they drinking enough fluid? Do they have enough physical activity? Does their life make them feel stressed, anxious and tired? In short, are our lifestyles putting our health at risk?
Some of the results TAP uncover make sobering reading, showing adults, both young and middle aged, whose lifestyles are putting their health at risk and a significant proportion are tired, stressed and too busy to eat properly and look after themselves.
This report published by TAP is a wake-up call to all of us. Most of us could do more to look after ourselves properly and live a healthier lifestyle. If we don’t do something about it now, we may well be storing up health problems, not only for now, but also for later in life. The time to get our lives on to a healthier footing is now.
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