HEALTH- Reasons for a better you: £11billion of NHS costs down to poor lifestyle
The cost of treating lifestyle related illness is rising in the UK, and resources are being placed under more and more pressure. What better excuse do you need to start that health kick?
We all know that it’s a good idea to take good care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. But there are far more compelling factors involved in trying to be the best person you can be, some of which actually impact on the entire country.
Whilst it has long been debated- at least in pubs and amongst friends- whether or not people who eat poorly should be financially penalised, in the same way as smokers and drinkers are through taxation, and the newly increased, additional Inland Revenue receipts from sugary drinks are going someway towards levelling at least part of that playing field, many people still don’t fully understand just how much their choices are actually costing the country.
According to a recent report by BBC News, this could be as much as £11billion extra to the NHS alone, with two of the biggest causes for concern equally untreatable- type 2 diabetes, and smoking-related bronchitis. However, the actual outlay on the part of the State could be significantly more when other factors are taken into account, such as welfare payments resulting from ill health, which, although unavoidable once someone’s health deteriorates, could have been sidestepped earlier in life with care and attention.
And we’re not just talking about booze and fags, either. Consider every aspect of your health and there are so many ways in which problems can escalate unnecessarily, potentially leading to the need for more expensive forms of treatment. Everything from diet to exercise is important to avoid, or at least attempt to avoid problems ranging from digestion to back ache, all of which can quite easily become long-term issues that require drugs, hospital appointments, or both in order to be managed. Perhaps shockingly, one in four middle-aged people in the UK now lives with some kind of chronic condition that has no current known cure. A sign of just how much work there is still to do in this country when it comes to educating people on looking after themselves, it’s further evidence that any and all options for taking care of the most precious think you’ll ever have should be exploited, when and where possible.
Image credit: (C) Jason Duesing