Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Article excerpt

With Public Finance turning its attention to public health this month we thought it timely to turn Numbers Game's focus to some key health data.

As Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie makes clear in our cover feature (pages 24-29), there is a clear relationship between risky lifestyle factors and deprivation. While a third of men in the least affluent quintile smoke, only 14% of the most affluent do. Among women, a quarter of the poorest are smokers, but only 10% of the richest.

Meanwhile, there has been a long-term rise in the prevalence of overweight and obese people in the population. In 1993, just 15% of people were obese but this had risen to almost a quarter by 2007, while numbers at a healthy weight have fallen from 45% to 38% over the same timeframe.

Recent figures revealed that more than 8,000 people died from alcohol-related causes in the UK last year, with death rates highest among those aged 60-64. Death rates were highest in Scotland, but it was the only one of the four UK nations to have seen a significant decline in alcohol-related deaths over the past 10 years. …

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