NHS statistics say we are obese, sedentary and drug-reliant

nhs obese and opioid warning

According to the latest report from our National Health Service, we are statistically obese; spend way too much time sat down; and take far too many prescribed drugs.

So, just to reiterate, many of us overeat, barely do enough exercise, unless it’s walking towards the fridge and back which then creates health problems that leads to us apparently swallowing prescribed pills like they’re mints and thus contributing towards the nation’s growing drug-dependency problem.

Much like the reported opioid crisis in America, the U.K. may not be far behind a similar drugs crisis either…

Here are a couple of worrying statistics lifted from the NHS Digital Health Survey for England:

  • 48% of adults have taken at least one prescribed medicine in the last week
  • 24% of adults have taken three or more in the last week

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, explain that, “high prescriptions shouldn’t always be seen as a bad thing” as advancing technology means more medicines are available to prevent illness and improve health. But would they be necessary if we ate more healthily and did more exercise? Should doctors be helping us to take the easy way out by giving us pills to sort all of our health problems?

Stokes-Lampard also noted that the growing elderly population accounts for the larger-than-expected numbers. As technology and medicine advance, people are living longer and are carrying with them their, “multiple, long term conditions, many of which will need to be treated with medication.”

82% of those over 85-years-old had reportedly taken three or more medications in the last week.

Obesity and physical health are, perhaps unsurprisingly, getting worse. As we spend more time in offices – sat at our desks and looking at screens – our health is fast deteriorating. When we get home, too many of us like to sit down some more on the sofa and face even more screens…

In a nation where a leading killer is heart disease, we really aren’t doing much to combat the problem it seems. We recognise these technological advances in medicine and are relying on prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs to help us sleep better; to get our blood flowing better; and to provide us with the nutrients we aren’t getting from our diets.

This over-reliance may be causing more harm than benefit.

A recent study showed that the NHS is reportedly over-prescribing medication and therefore potentially causing harm to patients. In recent years, we’ve seen an increasing dependency on painkillers and strong opioids as GPs and pharmacies can be too lax in giving out unnecessary repeat prescriptions.

Too many patients who are given painkillers to help deal with injuries are becoming apparently reliant on the medication, making it incredibly hard for someone to just stop taking them.

Image Credit: Christopher Flowers on Unsplash

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