How a simple question can uncover a myriad of sins

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Portsmouth, how are you? asks a new report.

The answer would appear to be: not great, unfortunately.

The report, which has been compiled by Portsmouth City Council, delivers a stark picture of the health of those living here. It paints a worrying portrait of the middle-aged in Portsmouth as something of a ticking timebomb.

Among the results is the news that a quarter of people aged 35 to 64 are obese and that 27 per cent of people in the 35 to 44 age group are at ‘high risk’ of developing an ‘alcohol misuse disorder’.

That is extremely troubling.Aside from the individual risks that this means people face, the implications for our already-creaking health services are huge.

The News has run plenty of stories about the demand for certain health services in Portsmouth far outstripping supply. This can only get worse if this situation continues.

And to be blunt, while the NHS does face a myriad of problems, we would also have to shoulder a big chunk of the blame too.

This emerges hot on the heels of a national report, from the Behavioural Insights Team, which says people are drastically under-reporting their calorific intake.

That report identifies numerous potential reasons for the finding, but it also ties in with findings that 57 per cent of residents who describe their diet as healthy do not actually eat five fruit and veg a day.

We all need to be more honest with ourselves and take a long, hard look at our lifestyle and health choices.

We are lucky here in Portsmouth to have a large common, the seafront and a flat landscape which lends itself to walking, jogging or cycling.

And best of all, it’s free. So let’s get out there and get fitter.