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Project unveils 25 years of lifestyle changes

A new tool shows how people in England's smoking, drinking and healthy eating habits have changed over the past 25 years, in a new, easy to understand, format.

Statistics on how many of us are overweight, obese or still lighting up cigarettes can now be compared from the early 1990s right up to the present day.

Smoking and obesity levels in adults and children are not the only stats users will be able to get their teeth stuck into with graphs charting fruit, veg and alcohol consumption, obesity, hypertension, diabetes and general health charts also being made available.

The general trends over the past 25 years show changes to public health challenges. We are smoking and drinking less, but more people are deemed overweight and obese then they were a quarter of a century ago.

The interactive portal will also chart when some major health policy or legislation came into effect, so people can see what percentage of the population were smokers at the time of landmark moments such as the 'smoking ban' and the ban on tobacco advertising.

The project is an amalgamation of statistics collated from the Health Survey for England2 that has documented our health, fitness and lifestyles since 1991.

The new interactive tool, which has been developed by NatCen Social Research, will make viewing the changes in our lifestyles more accessible to more people and will mean that trends across time can be quickly spotted without the need to trawl through large tables of figures.

The changing lifestyles of people in England over the past quarter of a century have been released together for the first time in an interactive format.

The 25 years of Health Survey for England statistics will chart changes across a total of seven key health and lifestyle indicators3.

The trends can be broken down into different age groups and draw comparisons between lifestyles of men and women.

The trend graphs can also be downloaded and shared on social media. 

Steve Webster, Information Analysis Lead Manager for NHS Digital, said: "This new tool will make 25 years' worth of lifestyle trends more accessible to the general public and people who are not experts in the field.

"People will now be able to see the wide-ranging trends in the population's health over the past 25 years and see how these trends match their own experiences over time."

View the tool at: http://healthsurvey.hscic.gov.uk/data-visualisation/data-visualisation/explore-the-trends.aspx

Notes to editors

  1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system.  Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend.  During the 2015/16 financial year, NHS Digital published 294 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit at: www.digital.nhs.uk
  2. HSE provides information about adults aged 16 and over, and children aged 0 to 15, living in private households in England. The survey consists of an interview, followed by a visit from a nurse who takes a number of measurements and samples. Adults and children aged 13 to 15 were interviewed in person, and parents of children aged 0 to 12 answered on behalf of their children. Participants aged 8 and over were asked to fill in a self-completion booklet during the interview covering topics like smoking and alcohol, and for those aged 13-15 also wellbeing.
  3. Indicators included in survey are: Adult/Child Smoking; Adult/Child Alcohol Consumption; Adult/Child Fruit & Veg Consumption; Adult/Child Obesity; Adult Hypertension; Adult Diabetes; Adult/Child General Health.
  4. For media enquiries please contact media@nhsdigital.nhs.net or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

 

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