Can Promoting Healthy Habits Improve Public Health?

As a society, we are living in increasingly poor health. Today, 70% of deaths worldwide are attributable to four lifestyle behaviours: physical inactivity, poor diet, excess alcohol consumption and smoking. This is having a profound impact on societal health and increasing pressure on healthcare systems. 

While it may feel like we are inundated with information about what we should eat, how much we should exercise, and the importance of mental health, there remains a chasm between what we know and what we do. How can we prevent the unhealthy behaviours that become entrenched as habits and cause a decline in our health?

To understand the science of how we can create healthy habits, Discovery Vitality partnered with the London School of Economics to examine the habits of more than one million members of the Vitality Programme in South Africa and the UK over a 10-year period.

Excerpted from the World Economic Forum

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