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How long we live depends on the start in life we get

Commenting on a story in today’s Times about how people in England are needlessly losing more than a million years of life to preventable conditions every year, Professor John Ashton, President of the Faculty of Public Health, said:
“How long we live is determined in part by whether or not we get a good start in life. It ought to be a matter of profound embarrassment to us that we’ve got children in the UK who aren’t fed or clothed properly.

“We’ve got two, three and four generations of the same families who haven’t had access to work. Being in employment is one of the best medicines when it comes to our health.
“At the other end of the life cycle, poor housing for elderly people means people are dying at a younger age than they should. If you can only afford to heat one room in your home, which is the case for many elderly people, it stands to reason it will be bad for your health.
“If we are serious about addressing these issues at a local level, then local authorities need the right tools to do this. That means returning powers to councils to tackle these problems.”

Written: 27/08/2013 , last modified: 24/12/2013