People in Wales are facing a “triple challenge” to their health and wellbeing, according to a report by Public Health Wales.
Taking into account the effects of Brexit, Covid and climate change, the study suggests diet, nutrition and travel could all be affected, with also alcohol consumption increasing.
According the PA Media, the study cites the World Health Organisation’s prediction that successive lockdowns could potentially cause people to drink more – exacerbating health vulnerability, making risk-taking behaviour more likely, and increasing mental health issues and violence.
One year after the first lockdown, 18% of people in Wales reported drinking more alcohol than they did before the pandemic, which equates to around 445,000 adults.
The report suggests the groups that may be worst-off in the immediate and long-term future could include those in rural communities, fishers and farmers, those on low incomes, and children and young people.
Liz Green, consultant in Public Health, Policy and International Health at Public Health Wales, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has revealed the complex, interwoven relationships between health, wellbeing, inequalities, the economy, the environment, and society as a whole. In doing so, it has created new inequalities, but also exacerbated existing health inequalities.
“Events such as the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union and climate change are also having a cumulative impact on the Welsh population’s health and wellbeing. In short, Wales and the UK are facing an unprecedented ‘triple challenge’.”