The David Cameron boot camp
Sadly, David Cameron isn’t about to don his trainers, pop on his Lycra and start an actual boot camp (well, not to our knowledge) but DC and his cabinet have recently decided that they have to do something about our ever-expanding waistlines here in the UK.
The government’s new programme will offer adults who are at risk of type-2 diabetes a new ‘healthy lifestyle’ programme, supported by the NHS. The national programme is launching this year, and its aim is to help people to avoid developing the disease by focusing upon prevention rather than cure. The so-called government ‘boot camp’ will consist of 13 sessions focusing on exercise, education and lifestyle changes, following a referral from a GP for pre-diabetic patients.
According to recent online polls, there are 2.6 million people in England with type-2 diabetes, and surveys tell us there are over 200,000 new diagnoses in the UK every year. Although there are other factors, being overweight and inactive are the most significant risk factors for type-2 diabetes – a serious disease which affects many major organs, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, said the new government-led scheme would reduce hospital admissions, prevent strokes and other complications of diabetes, such as amputations.
Following a recent survey by Public Health England, it was revealed that 61.7% of adults in the UK were overweight or obese (65.3% of men and 58.1% of women). Polls on our nation’s weight showed a rapid increase in obesity over the last 10 years in men, women and children.
So, why are we becoming increasingly over-weight as a nation? Experts blame desk jobs with long hours, fast food and hidden salts and sugars in our food, as well as less emphasis on activity and exercise in our busy modern lives.
According to the Chief medical Officer, adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – which amounts to approx. 30 minutes per day at least 5 days a week. According to recent online surveys, 63.3% of UK adults do not meet these recommended amounts of activity.
Our nation’s health is a serious concern. Type-2 diabetes alone costs the NHS over £10bn per year. Our poor choices of food and lack of exercise are crippling both the NHS and us. So, perhaps it is essential that the government are getting involved in what has been dubbed our ‘health timebomb’. Who knows – maybe we will see the Prime Minister in Lycra after all.
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