A British lifestyle survey found most middle aged adults lead unhealthy lives, echoing recent results for Gibraltar in the GHA Health and Lifestyle survey.
The Health Survey for England found desk jobs and busy lives lay behind the decline in healthy living.
The English survey found that 87% of men and 63% of women between the ages 40 and 60 were either overweight or obese. Locally, the statistics were slightly lower but nonetheless of concern, with 77% of men and 64% of women in middle age overweight or obese.
The English survey found an increase in obesity figures with the rate shooting up 16% within two decades. However, in Gibraltar the rate has stayed relatively stable since the last survey in 2008.
According to Public Health England [PHE] 83% of 40 to 60 year-olds are either drinking too much, are inactive or are overweight.
The diabetes rate among this age group also doubled in this period in England, PHE said.
The health body is encouraging adults to take its One You – How Are You health quiz which may highlight problems and areas for improvement.
People who take the quiz and are flagged as having a problem are directed to apps including Couch to 5K, Alcohol Checker and Easy Meals
“The demands of modern day living are taking their toll on the health of the nation, and it’s those in middle age that are suffering the consequences most, as their health reaches worrying new levels,” said Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical adviser for PHE’s One You lifestyle campaign.
“Over 15 million Britons are living with a long term health condition, and busy lives and desk jobs make it difficult to live healthily.”
“But just making a few small changes will have significant benefits to people’s health now and in later life.”
The GHA survey found women are more likely to walk to work than men and, in line with the English survey, some 41% of locals said they spend most of their day sitting.
“People are busy with work, with families, with the daily grind and sometimes their own health is the least of their priorities,” said Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England.
“The How Are You Quiz will help anyone who wants to take a few minutes to take stock and find out quickly where they can take a little action to make a big difference to their health.”
Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK, added: “We know that people often bury their heads in the sand when it comes to their general health but the consequences of doing nothing can be catastrophic.”