Middle-aged Britons are being urged to get off their couches and cut down on unhealthy food as part of a Government-backed drive to make people look after themselves.
Stark warnings about the risks of drinking and obesity form part of a new Public Health England (PHE) campaign, called One You, which has been billed the biggest national health drive since Change4Life.
PHE said evidence showed that living healthily in mid-life can double a person’s chances of staying healthy aged 70 and older.
Around 40 per cent of all deaths in England are related to poor lifestyles, such as smoking, drinking too much and being sedentary.
PHE’s One You campaign urges people to do more to look after themselves by eating better, taking exercise and shedding pounds.
A campaign across the internet, TV, social media and in public places – aimed at England but reaching other parts of the UK – will urge people to test how healthy they are via a new quiz.
Support is then offered such as the “couch to 5K” app download, healthy-eating recipes, an alcoholic drinks tracker and links to slimming services.
Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical adviser for the One You campaign, said: “Many diseases that impact people’s health and shorten their active lives can be prevented.
“Currently, 42 per cent of adults in mid-life are living with at least one long-term health condition which increases their risk of early death and disability.
“Although it has been customary to blame people for their lifestyle, we now appreciate that we need to take into account the environmental pressures that make it difficult to make healthy choices, having to sit eight hours a day at work for example, and then drive an hour home.”
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Educational campaigns can be useful but costs must be kept down, particularly at a time when families up and down the country are having to budget hard.
“It is important that the campaign is informative rather than patronising and that large amounts of taxpayer-funded resources aren’t wasted on simply stating the obvious.”
As part of the drive, Asda supermarkets are providing a free blood-pressure check service at all of its 255 in-store pharmacies.
BBC Get Inspired is also partnering with One You to relaunch the “couch to 5K” app, while Slimming World is offering some free memberships and an online discount.