Physical Activity, Healthy Eating and Smoking Cessation

Why is it an issue?

These lifestyle factors are associated with increased risk of ill health and developing long term conditions with increasing health and social care costs, work to promote healthier lifestyles can improve healthy life expectancy.

What is the position in Devon?

In Devon, 18.1% of adults smoke (113,100), with rates higher in deprived areas and people working in routine and manual occupations.  70% of the prison population smoke. 24.1% of adults are obese (150,600), 16% of 10 to 11 year olds are obese, and only 30.9% are eating enough fruit and vegetables. 13.3% of adults regularly participate in sports or active recreation (including walking and cycling).

What is the evidence of effective interventions?

Physical activity helps people maintain full and independent lives, improves social cohesion, and can help reduces falls, osteoporosis and demand on health and social care services.  Children from lower socio-economic groups and some black and ethnic minority groups do less sport and exercise that those from higher socio-economic groups.  Community based interventions to promote healthy eating such as whole school approaches and cooking skills have been shown to be effective.  NHS Stop Smoking Services are highly effective both in cost and clinical terms.  To be effective tobacco control work needs to reduce uptake and prevalence of smoking and reduce exposure to second hand smoke.