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Immediate Action Needed as UK Life Expectancy Reaches Lowest in Over a Decade

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The latest data from the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) shows that the UK’s life expectancy has plummeted to its lowest level in more than a decade.

The UK once proudly occupied the seventh spot globally for the longest life expectancy, owing to healthcare advancements and improved living and working conditions. Regrettably, the UK has been slipping further down the global ladder in recent years. Currently ranking second lowest among the G7 nations, the UK is ahead only of the US in this intergovernmental group of the world’s advanced economies.

The ONS’ recent report depicts a grim picture: life expectancy at birth in the UK in 2020–2022 was 78.6 for males and 82.6 for females. This is a decrease of 38 weeks (or 0.7 years) for males and 23 weeks (or 0.4 years) for females compared to the period from 2017 to 2019.

The statistics suggest that lower life expectancy levels are a reflection of the Covid pandemic, which led to increased mortality rates in 2020–2021. However, World Health Organisation (WHO) data from 2022 shows that preventable health conditions, such as heart disease, are now the leading causes of death in the UK. 

“The UK is in the grip of a health and wellbeing crisis. With the NHS under stress, a lack of health education and a rising death toll, it’s time for a health revolution. The ball is in our court now; it’s time to act,” says David Brewer, CEO at Protect Line.

The UK stands as one of the most obese nations in Europe, with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer (all linked to obesity) being major causes of unexpected death.

To combat this health crisis, it is imperative that UK residents make significant changes in their everyday lifestyles, starting with a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity.

“The statistics are clear, the consequences are grave, and the action is urgent,” concludes David Brewer. “It’s time for the UK to step up, get moving, and commit to a healthier future. For ourselves and for our children.”

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