Health 2001

In theory Britain should be a healthy place to live. There are few risks from life threatening contagious disease such as cholera due to the high standards of public health facilities and the nation’s sewage systems. Medicine has never been more advanced and there are hundreds of treatments that can cure many diseases.

The government provides guidelines on healthy eating, food packaging tells us the salt, fat and calorie content of our food and the supermarkets are full of fruits and vegetables grown all over the world.

We know how to live healthily, what can harm us and due to more regulations and safeguards our work lives are statistically safer.

Modern Health Pressures

Yet Britain is not as healthy as it should be. Health is important in determining quality of life.

20% people in the UK are now medically obese and others continue to do things that they know are harmful such as drinking alcohol and smoking, 22% of the UK population still smoke.

Mental Health

The British, along with many other western cultures, are obsessed with the way they look which can cause depression and a lack of self-worth.

Mental health problems are higher in this period than at any other time and care of the mentally ill is less likely to be the responsibility of family members. Charitable and Government organisations exist to help those with mental health problems within the community or in hospitals. As in the 1850s only those with the most serious mental illnesses are hospitalised and many will be realised after a short period of treatment to continue their recovery in the community. There were 4000 new cases of mental illness diagnosed across the UK in 2008 alone.


This exhibition is part of a wider sustainability project delivered through the Rural Museums East Partnership. It is funded by Renaissance East of England.

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