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A Weighty Issue: How Healthy is the UK?

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 11/03/12 -- Obesity continues to cause significant health risks to Brits. Asda Money looks at the health of the nation and comments on the growing crisis caused by obesity and how it could affect families across the country in the years to come.

Official figures(i) show that in 2009 almost a quarter of all adults in England were classified as obese. Obesity is just one of the growing major public health risks in the UK, weighing the nation down. For example, an obese woman is 13 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than a female who is not obese.

Unhealthy foods, excessive alcohol consumption and a lack of regular exercise or fitness could contribute to health problems. Obesity can lead to a number of health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers, heart problems and cardiovascular disease.

Top tips to stay healthy:

Eating Well

Eating the right foods can make a significant difference to an individual's weight and health. A number of leading nutritionists and experts(ii) recommend eating five pieces of fruit or vegetables a day. These types of food help to maintain a balanced diet as they contain vital minerals and vitamins such as potassium, vitamin c and folate. It may be advisable to check which fruit or vegetables which count towards your five a day, for example, potatoes are not part of the five a day scheme, however other root vegetables are.

Keeping fit without the gym

There are a number of exercises that can be done without the use of a gym. Things in life are rarely free, however, keeping fit is one of them. Running and walking on a regular basis could help to keep weight loss down and improve health levels. Muscles can be toned using floor exercises, which can often be performed at home, and everyday household items can be used as weights.

Swimming is another great way of keeping fit, and more often than not, cheaper than gym passes. It is an activity that can be done at any age for any ability.

Know your alcohol units:

Alcohol contains calories which can all contribute towards weight can and health issues. One glass of wine for example could contain the same amount of calories as a slice of cake. Alcohol units are a way of measuring your alcoholic intake. Each type of alcoholic drink has a different number of untis, for example, one pint of beer or cider has 2.8 units and one medium glass of wine as 2.1 units.

Typical the recommended amount for women is 2-3 units a day and 3-4 for men(iii).

A number of celebrities embrace healthy living with regular trips to the gym, often assisted with a personal trainer. Singer and fashion designer Gwen Stefani works out five days a week to maintain her trim figure. (iv) Whilst you can take action to keep as fit and healthy as possible, you never know what life will throw at you and how easily you will be able to access medical help. Healthcare costs can be expensive and you could run up some debts as a result, especially if you cannot work due to illness. If you have dependants it is always a good idea to think about taking out life insurance.

Life insurance can help protect your loved ones and contribute towards costs when you are gone.

Notes for editors

The Health and Social Care Information Centre, NHS Statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet: England, 2011.

(ii) 5 A DAY live well information from NHS online

(iii) Alcohol unit calculator -

(iv) 'I work out five days a week, I can't imagine not doing it.' Gwen Stefani quoted in the Daily Mail online.

About Asda Life Insurance:

Asda Advised Life Cover

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Asda Money is a trading name of Asda Financial Services Limited. Asda Financial Services Limited uses a selection of companies to provide its products and services. Please refer to for details of our product partners and the relevant terms and conditions for each of our products and services. Calls may be recorded and/or monitored.

Asda Instant Life Cover is provided by Ageas Protect Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA registration number 473752). Asda Financial Services Limited and Asda Stores Limited act as introducer appointed representatives to Ageas Protect Limited for Asda Instant Life Cover. Asda is a trademark of Asda Stores Limited.

Advice on Asda Advised Life Cover is provided by LifeSearch Limited, an Appointed Representative of Baigrie Davies and Company Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

(i) Price based on GBP 100,000 of level term cover over 20 years for a female aged 30 next birthday and in good health. Prices correct as at January 2012.

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