Britons drink more alcohol, eat less fruit and veg and are more likely to die from smoking than the average European, according to Government figures.
While life expectancy is at its highest level yet, with death rates from cancers and circulatory diseases falling and the infant death rate at its lowest level yet in England.
There are problems tackling public health issues, when the UK is compared other European countries.
Statistics show rates of obesity, diabetes and alcohol-related admissions are rising across England.
There are also 288.6 deaths per 100,000 people from smoking-related causes in the UK compared with an EU average of 263.7
The report also showed there is poorer health in the North of England compared with the South across many factors.
Thousands of nurses are being treated for back pain because of the rising number of obese patients they have to deal with, it is claimed.
About 5,000 NHS nurses are suffering from the condition partly as a result of having to lift and assist increasingly heavy patients while carrying out their duties, according to the British Chiropractic Association.
Dr Matthew Bennett, a member of the BCA and a chiropractor for 20 years, said: ‘There are thousands of nurses with work-related back pain and I think this could increase in the future.
‘The weight of patients is a contributory factor to back pain. It’s not just a weight issue – it’s a fitness issue with people unable to turn themselves over.’
Couch potato lifestyles are costing the National Health Service more than £1 billion a year, according to new research.
They were directly responsible for 3% of all deaths and illness in 2002, researchers found.
This landed the NHS with a £1.06 billion bill through in-patient stays, outpatient appointments, drugs, community care and visits to primary care practitioners.
Despite this “considerable public health burden” the true cost could be even higher, the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health warns.
Money worries, long hours at work and family pressures are driving up stress levels across the country, a report says today.
Half the population say they feel more stressed now than five years ago and more than 10 per cent say they have felt suicidal, twice the level in 2003.
The findings, from a survey commissioned by the Samaritans, confirm Britain as one of the most stressed nations in Europe.
Research published last month showed one in five Britons felt their life was out of control, the highest proportion in the nine industrialised nations studied.
An investigation is under way after paramedic crews could not attend to a man who suffered a fatal heart attack because they were on “rest breaks”.
A rapid-response car was sent when a 999 call was made after the 73-year-old collapsed at the Edmonton Green shopping centre in north London.
But London Ambulance Service (LAS) confirmed the crews were on a break, under EU rules, when the call was made.
An ambulance arrived 20 minutes later but the man died shortly afterwards.
Patients in some areas who need hip replacements and other orthopaedic operations are still having to wait more than two years for NHS treatment, figures show.
Almost one in four waits longer than 12 months for an operation after referral by their GP.
For 3 per cent, the delay is twice that.
The average wait is 40 weeks – ten weeks longer than across all specialties.
The figures on Health Service performance were published as part of a progress report on the Government’s pledge to treat all patients in 18 weeks.
Just 35 per cent of those needing hospital admission hit this target, according to estimates for the first three months of this year.
Thrifty shoppers who rely on economy range supermarket products could be getting unhealthier food, a report warned yesterday.
Most low-cost food surveyed contained “significantly” more salt than standard own-brand products, the National Consumer Council (NCC) said.
Some economy supermarket products also had more sugar than standard versions.
The NCC’s Short Changed on Health? report accuses some retailers of contributing to inequalities in diet and health