Skip Navigation

Life expectancy rising in UK & Europe despite obesity epidemic

18 March 2011

Life expectancy in Europe keeps increasing despite the obesity epidemic, with people in Britain reaching an older age than those living in the US, according to an editorial published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

These striking findings counteract concerns that the rising life expectancy trend in high income countries may be coming to an end in the face of health problems arising from obesity.

Epidemiologist and population health expert Professor David Leon, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, points out that in the last five years most European countries have been going in a positive direction for the first time in decades – although the gap between East and West remains entrenched.

Read the editorial: Trends in European life expectancy: a salutary view

In the news

BBC - Life expectancy on the rise 'despite obesity epidemic'

Reuters - European life expectancy rising despite obesity

Press Association - European life expectancy increasing

Independent - Life expectancy is still rising – despite obesity epidemic