The Human Truth Foundation

The United Kingdom Suffers as a Result of Poor National Health

By Vexen Crabtree 2020


Comments:
FB, LJ

#health #obesity #UK #UK_health

The UK's National Security Risk Assessment output classes the state of the UK public health as a Tier 1 national risk, the most potent of the three categories1. It's a well-known and high-profile issue; half of all science stories in the UK media are medical2 although many of the claims made are dubious2.The UK does relatively well in encouraging good health, compared to many other countries. The UK comes in the best 20 in its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance3 and in number of organ donors4. It does better than average for its suicide rate5, its adolescent birth rate6 (but high for Europe) and in its immunizations take-up7. The UK does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in its smoking rate8 (yet still one of the best in Europe), the prevalence of overweight adults9 (one of the highest in Europe) and in its alcohol consumption rate10. The number of overweight adults has increased by 14% during the last 40 years.


1. Binge Drinking and Pub Culture (UK)

#alcohol #british_culture #france #health #italy #trash_culture #UK #UK_health

Alcohol Consumption (2010)10
Pos.Higher is worse
Per Capita10
191Belarus17.5
190Moldova16.8
189Lithuania15.4
...
171Ireland11.9
170Luxembourg11.9
169Germany11.8
168UK11.6
167Slovenia11.6
166Denmark11.4
165Bulgaria11.4
164Spain11.2
163S. Africa11.0
162Belgium11.0
161Gabon10.9
160New Zealand10.9
159Namibia10.8
158Switzerland10.7
157St Lucia10.4
156Estonia10.3
World Avg6.2
q=191.

In 1998 the UK government reported that 40 000 deaths per year are alcohol-related11. Per-capita consumption of alcohol in the UK has doubled since the late 1950s, whilst in other developed countries such as France and Italy, it has more than halved12. The price of alcohol, in real terms, is half what it was in the 1970s12. Between 1995 and 2001, binge drinking increased by 35% in the UK12. Despite government efforts to reduce excessive drinking, according to the NHS "hundreds more" children are admitted to hospital after drinking [in 2005] than five years ago, diagnosed with alcohol poisoning and "behavioural disorders because of excessive drinking"13: In 2009 this was confirmed by "an OECD report identifying its teenagers as the world's drunkest, among other dubious accolades"14. Death rates from cirrhosis, primarily caused by excessive drinking, "the increase is reflected in rising death rates from chronic liver disease, the primary cause of which is too much drink. In the 30 years between 1970 and 2000, death by cirrhosis for people aged 25 to 44 rose an astonishing 900%, from about 80 cases a year to more than 700".12.

Alcohol-related crime commands the single biggest use of police manpower in the UK and alcoholism and binge drinking is by far the biggest social problem that British society faces. UK holidaymakers and football fans abroad are bemoaned as the most drunken and most unruly of all foreign travellers. It disgraces the UK; other European countries such as Italy and France have no such problems. Binge drinking is not only a problem acknowledged by health and government officials, but it is also something they think all citizens ought to be warned about... its definition appears in the UK Citizenship Test lexicon's list of words that immigrants ought to learn15.

2. Obesity

#genetics #health #life_expectancy #obesity #public_health #UK #UK_health

Compared to Europe
Pos.Overweight Adults (2016)
Lower is better
%9
Life
Expectancy (2015)
Higher is better

Years16
1Moldova51.871.73
2Bosnia & Herzegovina53.376.63
3Azerbaijan53.670.90
4Georgia54.275.02
5Switzerland54.383.13
6Austria54.381.58
7Armenia54.474.89
8Denmark55.480.41
9Estonia55.877.01
10Slovenia56.180.58
11Slovakia56.276.41
12Sweden56.482.35
13Germany56.881.09
14Serbia57.175.05
15Portugal57.581.18
16Albania57.777.97
17Romania57.774.84
18Netherlands57.881.71
19Latvia57.874.34
20Finland57.981.01
21Macedonia58.175.53
22Poland58.377.62
23Norway58.381.71
24Ukraine58.471.13
25Italy58.583.34
26Luxembourg58.781.88
27Cyprus59.180.33
28Iceland59.182.72
29Montenegro59.476.40
30Belarus59.471.46
31France59.582.36
32Belgium59.580.98
33Croatia59.677.50
34Lithuania59.673.50
35Ireland60.681.05
36Spain61.682.77
37Hungary61.675.31
38Bulgaria61.774.32
39Greece62.381.07
40Czechia62.378.78
41UK63.780.85
42Andorra63.781.46
43Malta66.480.73
44Turkey66.875.53
Europe Avg58.4678.36
World Avg49.0071.27
q=44.

Over 2 in 3 adults in the UK are overweight17. It has widespread knock-on effects for the rest of the UK, resulting in lost-hours of work, developed disabilities and social care costs. A UK government Commons Health Select Committee report in late 2015 stated that obesity costs the UK economy £27 billion every year18 and the total costs to Britain were widely reported in 2014 to be £47 billion19,20 - more than war, violence and terrorism combined19,20. It costs the National Health Service £5.1 billion per year21. Childhood obesity presents the greatest long-term risk (and cost) and parents must do more to instigate sensible eating practices22. In early 2016, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that UK rates of childhood obesity constituted a national emergency23.

Source: BBC (2007)24

The issue has been a long-term development; the chart shows rates rising between 1996-2005 in England.

Overall comments on obesity:

About one third of the global population is overweight or obese19. Most Western countries are facing an obesity epidemic. Our cultures are having to change to compensate for widespread ill-health. It is costing our health systems a massive amount of money, and is having negative effects on national economies. The situation has persisted for a suitable length of time for our very perceptions to change; opinions on "normal weights" for people and "average sizes" for clothes has shot up17. Over 2 in 3 adults in the UK are overweight17 and this costs the NHS £5.1 billion per year21 and "costs Britain's economy £47bn a year; more than war, terrorism or armed violence"25. We are forgetting how to be healthy.

The causes are not genetic. Most people who say obesity "runs in their family" are wrong. The rate of increase in obesity is many, many times too fast to be accounted for by a change in inherited genes26. Our culture and lifestyle choices are to blame. The causes of the modern obesity epidemic are processed foods, low levels of physical exercise, over-indulgence, poor choices in food products, poor knowledge of nutrition. Most of this is made much worse by well-funded advertising campaigns by food manufacturers selling cheaper mass-produced food. Even some so-called "health foods" contain well over recommended limits of fat, salt and sugar27.

"The Modern Obesity Epidemic" by Vexen Crabtree (2017)

3. Smoking Rates in the UK: The Slow Victory of Public Health Over the Tobacco Industry

#health #smoking #UK #uk_health

Smoking Rates (2014)8
Pos.Higher is worse8
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
113Iran 869
112Laos 836
111Sweden 831
110UK 827
109Papua New Guinea 826
108Namibia 740
107UAE 715
106Qatar 698
105Kyrgyzstan 68328
104New Zealand 680
103Morocco 671
102Bangladesh 665
101Singapore 652
100Equatorial Guinea 649
99Cambodia 645
98Fiji 618
World Avg 819
q=182.

Smoking is the UK's biggest cause of preventable death and 100,000 people die from related diseases every year29. The health of the nation affects everyone in the long-run30 - although in 2016/17 tax on cigarettes earned the government £7.6 billion31, in 2010 statistics showed the total cost to the economy of smoking (including NHS costs) was £13.7 billion32. 474,000 hospital admissions every year in England are directly due to smoking31.

But things are moving in the right direction. Since the 1970s, the government has enacted a stream of laws to improve public health: strong restrictions on advertising cigarettes, enforced health warnings on packs, increased costs, banned sports sponsorships and banned smoking in public enclosed spaces.31,33,34. Each of those measures was fought through long legal and PR campaigns by the tobacco industry33,34. But it is working, and smoking rates in Great Britain have declined from 50% in 1974 to 16% in 2016, and the spectre of childhood smoking has declined to 3%.31,35

4. Public Health Issues

#mental_health #organ_donation #public_health #suicide #UK

Organ Donors (At Death) (2017)4
Pos.Higher is better
pmp4
1Spain46.9036
2Portugal34.0136
3Belgium33.6236
...
8France26.84
9Czechia25.51
10Austria24.7036
11UK23.0537
12Belarus22.10
13Norway22.06
14Canada21.91
15Finland21.41
World Avg13.03
q=70.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)3
Pos.Lower is better
Rank3
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
4UK4
5Norway5
6Switzerland6
7Germany7
8Canada8
9Netherlands9
10USA10
11Luxembourg11
12Finland12
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Suicide Rate (2013)5
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100k5
1Haiti0
2Grenada0
3Egypt0.1
...
36Italy12.8
37Macedonia13.5
38Mauritius13.7
39UK13.9
40Ecuador14.1
41Spain15.3
42Argentina15.6
43Thailand15.8
World Avg20.93
q=91.

5. Children's Health

#health #parenting #population #UK #vaccines

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)6
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10006
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
45Malaysia13.6
46Latvia13.6
47Australia14.1
48UK14.6
49Sri Lanka14.8
50Micronesia15.0
51Tonga15.2
52Mongolia15.7
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)7
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %7
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
72Tuvalu94.9
73Eritrea94.7
74Singapore94.6
75UK94.6
76Solomon Islands94.5
77Norway94.3
78Bolivia94.2
79UAE94.0
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. UK Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #UK

Social & Moral
Development Index
38
Pos.Higher is better
Points38
1Denmark83.4
2Sweden83.2
3Finland82.7
4Netherlands82.2
5Germany81.7
6Switzerland81.4
7Norway81.3
8Belgium81.1
9UK80.3
10Ireland79.9
11Iceland79.6
12New Zealand79.5
13Canada79.5
World Avg55.3
q=199.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.