Blueprint to a healthier Suffolk

A BLUEPRINT to tackle serious health issues - including obesity, binge drinking and smoking - has been drawn up in to make Suffolk the healthiest county in Britain by 2028.

A BLUEPRINT to tackle serious health issues - including obesity, binge drinking and smoking - has been drawn up in to make Suffolk the healthiest county in Britain by 2028.

Suffolk County Council has produced the plan to reverse the “truly terrifying” impact lifestyle habits have on health.

The Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Strategy claims smoking kills around 1,200 people in the county every year and one in four adults smoke.

One in five Suffolk residents are obese, 18 per cent of children are obese, one in six people binge drink and seven in ten adults do not eat five fruit and vegetables a day.

The strategy said these unhealthy lifestyles increase the risk of cancers, heart disease and diabetes while having an impact on NHS costs, long-term care costs and life expectancy.

The council has developed a program of change designed to improve many areas of health, including reducing childhood obesity, improving the sexual health of young people and reducing alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies and health inequalities between affluent and deprived areas.

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Joanna Spicer, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “The county council is recommitting itself to working very hard across Suffolk to improve health and prevent accidents.

“We are already one of the healthiest counties but we could be a lot healthier.

“The NHS has a big job to do with looking after people who are sick. The county council can do a lot more to promote better health and prevent accidents.

“The health problems caused by obesity are truly terrifying.

“There is so much the county council can do through sport provision, health school meals and encouraging children to walk to school.”

Mrs Spicer said the council was leading the way by removing the smoking hut at its Endeavour House premises next week, which will mean staff can no longer smoke anywhere near the building.

n. What do you think needs to be done? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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