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Fight to tackle unhealthy lifestyles has widened gap in health inequalities

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 23 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5707
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Efforts to persuade people to follow a healthier lifestyle have worked only for wealthier parts of the population and widened the health inequalities divide.

This is the conclusion of a report from health think tank The King’s Fund, which found that poorer people have been left behind in the fight against unhealthy lifestyles.

The report1 claims to be the first study to examine how patterns of multiple lifestyle behaviours have changed over time in England.

Researchers used data from the Health Survey for England2 to analyse changes in four key lifestyle behaviours—smoking, excessive drinking, poor diet, and lack of exercise—between 2003 and 2008.

They focused on these four categories of unhealthy …

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