Middle aged Britons are the unhealthiest in the world, according to new research.
A Bupa study found Britons aged 45-54 were more likely to smoke, be obese and suffer from depression than their peers around the world.
No other country in the survey, which included Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia, showed such a consistent range of unhealthy results for this age group.
More than 2,000 people in the UK were questioned as part of the 13,000 people around the world.
It found that:
• over a third (35%) of British 45-54 year olds are obese - double the international average for this age group (17%),
• a quarter (24%) of 45-54 year old smokers get through 10 or more cigarettes a day compared with an international average of 18%,
• over a quarter (27%) of those polled in this age group say they suffer from depression compared with just 17% internationally,
• nearly half of British 45-54 year olds (45%) say they feel negative about their financial situation, 30% feel negative about their career and 21% feel negative about life in general - all higher than the international average.
Dr Sneh Khemka, medical director at Bupa International, said the Health Pulse survey made alarming reading for a generation of Britons.
"The research reveals not only that Britain's middle-aged are suffering from a health crisis, but also that the problem is particularly apparent in this country," he said.
"People hitting 45 often find the unhealthy excesses of their youth are catching up with them just at the time when their financial and personal responsibilities are growing and they are increasingly time poor.
"These combined elements mean that, for this age group, health can fall down their list of priorities.
"Fortunately however, there are no medical reasons why middle aged Britons should fare worse for health than other age groups, or their peers around world - so it's possible to tackle this trend," he added.
Dr Khemka added that the nation must learn from other countries because this middle aged health crisis was such a UK dominant problem.
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