Illnesses linked to lifestyle choices such as poor diet, drinking and smoking are costing the NHS over £11bn each year.

Public Health England (PHE) has said that unless they are tackled more effectively the NHS will become unaffordable.

It warns preventable illnesses such as diabetes and bronchitis are becoming an ‘untreatable epidemic.’

Dr Rebecca Wagstaff from PHE said: “When you look back to Victorian times, we worried about things like diphtheria and polio, and we’ve actually managed to conquer those now.

“The new threats are things like diabetes and chronic bronchitis. They could overwhelm us.

“They are illnesses for which there is no cure, and they cost the NHS more than £11 billion each year. That’s a phenomenal amount of money and more than that, it is taking years off people’s lives.”

Currently, as many as four out of ten middle-aged people suffer from a long-term condition with no cure. These are often caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and include type 2 diabetes, cancer, lung and heart disease.

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