Wellbeing news in brief

Disability disarray

Most UK workers still don’t understand what constitutes a disability, says the Disability Rights Commission. More than half of those polled dismissed mental illness, but believed anyone on crutches was disabled, even if they only had a broken leg. And the same proportion would be nervous if someone with depression moved next door.

North of the boozer

Scotland is making progress with its anti-smoking policy, but still faces serious problems with alcohol. One person dies from alcohol-related illness every six hours in Scotland, and the Alcohol Statistics for Scotland study reports that there were 2,372 deaths in 2005, for which alcohol was either the main cause or a contributory factor. The number of people hospitalised due to alcohol-related illness or injury was up 10% on 2001.

Fat chance for companies

Obesity has become a global issue, according to research from the Health Research Institute of accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Researchers have found that obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, are a growing threat to companies, and are urging chief executives to make “wellness” central to their corporate business strategy. At present, just 3% of spending in the developed world goes towards such preventive work.

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