A new report out of the UK has found that nearly half of people over the age of 50 are living with at least two serious health problems.
About 15 million people in the UK are living with multiple long-term health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and depression. This figure includes 8.4 million of the 19.5 million people over the age of 50.
The report corroborates findings from Cambridge University. Researchers found that one in four Britons were living with multiple health issues.
Experts are now warning that the problem is affecting younger generations. Doctors are seeing a sharp increase in care for patients between the ages of 20 and 30.
Many of the illnesses are fueled by obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers also say that pollution and other factors may be partly to blame.
Cases of type 2 diabetes have soared, and the condition is one of the leading causes of people under the age of 65 having three other health conditions. That figure rises to seven in people over the age of 65.
The growing number of people with multiple health conditions has put a strain on the UK’s NHS.
A group of leading medics say part of the problem is that guidelines have made bread, potatoes and pasta the foundation of the British diet. These medics say the change has had disastrous consequences and has created a “time bomb” for the NHS.
“If all UK diabetics were to follow guidelines reflecting the independent scientific evidence and ignore current low-fat diet government guidelines, it would reduce dependency on diabetes drugs and insulin by over 50 per cent, saving the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds annually,” said Dr. Malhotra. “Basing diets on starchy foods is misguided and in my view, has been a direct cause of the obesity crisis.”
Doctors are struggling to treat the growing number of younger patients with multiple serious health issues.
The growing obesity epidemic has fueled an entire industry devoted to weight loss. From fitness gadgets to personal training, meal delivery plans and supplements, weight loss is a billion-dollar industry.
Millennials are predicted to become the “fattest generation on record.”
Professor Melanie Davies of the University of Leicester says there are now more than 500 children with type 2 diabetes.
“A child or adolescent with type two diabetes was almost unheard of 20 years ago,” she said. “Within a generation it has changed really quickly.”
Davies says the rate at which young people are being diagnosed with diabetes is “scary.”
Reports by Rogue IMC also indicate that the obesity crisis in the UK has reached a point where 12 million people are at increased risk of developing diabetes. That number equates to 25% of the population.
More than half of all UK adults take at least one prescription medication. About 50% of people over the age of 70 are on at least three drugs. Prescription medication is believed to be the third most common cause of death in the UK behind cancer and heart disease.