In the UK today, there is a significant problem with people leading unhealthy lifestyles, including drinking more alcohol than is recommended, eating unhealthy food, smoking and not engaging in enough physical activity.
Unhealthy lifestyles can have serious consequences, causing disease both in the short and long term, the effects of which can be dramatic for the individual and their families and also in terms of the financial costs to our wider society.
Approximately 600 people a year are admitted to hospital within the county, as a result of alcohol consumption and more than half are male.
Alcohol misuse is estimated to cost society, as a whole, £21 billion a year in England.
Around 14% of adults smoke in Herefordshire and it's the biggest preventable cause of ill health, disease and death in England. It's also the single most important factor affecting health inequalities.
Stopping smoking is one of the top things a person can do to improve their health and wellbeing.
63% of Herefordshire's adults are overweight or obese.
23% of reception aged children and 35% of those in year 6 are overweight or obese. The obesity rates are higher for children and adults in more disadvantaged communities.
Eating healthily and being physically active, can help people maintain a healthy weight, as well as reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some types of cancer.
17.2% of adults in Herefordshire are physically inactive.
Across the UK, physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths and costs the economy approximately £7.4 billion a year.
Physical activity can help boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reduce the risk of stress, depression and dementia.
Mental health and wellbeing
It's estimated that more than 1 in 10 women can experience post-natal depression within a year of giving birth and 1 in 10 children have a mental health problem.
In 2016/17, 30.5% of children in Herefordshire had decayed, missing or filled teeth, which is higher than the England average.
The introduction of a regular toothbrushing routine at an early age, can help set children up for a life of good dental care.
In 2016, there were just over 417,000 new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) diagnosed in England with chlamydia being the most commonly recorded.
Sexual health is an important part of an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing, so it’s important to take care of it and to talk about sex and relationships with your loved ones.