A land of gamblers: NHS report reveals that four out of 10 adults went to casinos or placed bets in 2018
England is heading at full speed towards a gambling epidemic, experts have warned after four out of ten 16-year-olds had placed a bet last year.
Data from NHS Digital showed that 39 percent of adults gambled in 2018, with this number rising to more than half (53 percent) if the National Lottery was included.
The rise of mobile gambling was partly attributed to the fact that almost everyone in the country was constantly tempted.
Middle-aged adults were the most likely to gamble, with two-thirds of those aged 45 to 54 who admitted having spent money with a bookmaker in the past 12 months.
Data from NHS Digital showed that 39 percent of people aged 16 and over had gambled in 2018. The rise of mobile gambling was partly attributed to the fact that almost everyone in the country was constantly tempted (stock)
Official NHS data distribute participation in gambling activities in the past 12 months by age
But online gambling has attracted a younger audience, according to the Health Survey for England (HSE) of 8,178 adults.
More than two-thirds of people aged 16 to 34 placed a bet on the internet in 2018 – compared to less than 5 percent of people over 65.
Ian Hamilton, an addiction teacher at the University of York, told MailOnline: & # 39; It is really worrying to see this increase in gambling activities.
& # 39; This didn't happen by accident, because we have so many more chances to gamble than a few years ago, from the lottery to online poker and bingo.
& (39) (Mobile apps) are not only designed to attract your attention, but make you, like slot machines, think that a win is coming.
& # 39; Like any app they have on your phone, it is accessible anywhere, anytime, you don't have to wait for the bookmakers to open. & # 39;
The HSE report revealed among men that the highest percentages in the age group were 25 to 34 – 64 percent of those gambling in 2018.
For women, those in the 45 to 64 age group were most likely to bet on 57 percent.
Middle-aged adults were the most likely to gamble, with two-thirds of those aged 45 to 54 who admitted having spent money with a bookmaker in the past 12 months. (File)
Official NHS data break down participation in gambling activities in the last 12 months by age and gender
HOW GAMBLERS & # 39; BRAIN WEAR FOR DRUGS & # 39;
Forced gamblers look for games of chance because they have similar brain activity to drinking and drug addicts, scientists discovered in 2017.
Researchers at Imperial College London identified two areas of the brain that were very active when gamblers felt the urge to gamble or spin the roulette wheel.
Both regions, known as the insula and nucleus accumbens, are involved in decision-making, reward sensations and impulse control – and are rather linked to the desire for alcohol and drugs.
The findings, reported in the journal Translational Psychiatry, could lead to new treatments for gambling addiction, the researchers said at the time.
Co-author of the study, Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, said at the time: & We know that the condition may have a genetic component – and that the children of gambling addicts themselves are at greater risk of gambling addiction – but we still don't know exactly which parts of the brains are involved.
& # 39; This study identifies key areas of the brain and offers opportunities for targeted treatments that prevent uncontrollable hunger and relapse. & # 39;
The scientists used MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to scan the brains of 19 people with gambling addiction and the same number of healthy volunteers.
Brain activity was monitored while each participant was asked to view a selection of images with a roulette wheel and a gambling shop.
For problem gamblers, the brain areas of the insula and the nucleus accumbens were very active when seeing a gambling image was accompanied by desire.
A connection was also seen with the frontal lobe of the brain, which can help to control impulses. A weaker bond between this region and the nucleus accumbens was associated with a more intense urge to gamble.
Nearly 4 percent of those who gambled in the past year were identified as problem gamblers or at risk of developing a serious addiction.
A small number, less than one percent, were considered to have a gambling problem that & # 39; out of control & # 39; and had a negative impact on their lives.
It is the first time the NHS has investigated the behavior of gamblers, so there are no previous statistics to compare them with.
But all indications indicate an increase in problem gambling.
The National Gambling Helpline revealed in October that the number of phone calls it receives had risen by more than 30 percent in five years.
Nearly 30,000 calls a year are now being answered by the charity – around 82 a day.
And two-thirds of the people who call the service say that their gambling causes them money problems.
Public Health England, which flung because it reacted slowly to the problem, provides its first overview of evidence about the health damage caused by gambling. It will be published in the spring next year.
The UK government has started betting on gambling stores to stop the rise of gambling disorders.
Earlier this year, ministers cut the maximum bet on fixed betting terminals from £ 100 to £ 2.
It followed a law of 2018 that imposed severe penalties on companies aimed at children's advertising or glamorous gambling.
The HSE report also examined the eating and drinking habits of people in England in 2018.
Just over four in 10 (41 percent) adults were found to have no health problems, while more diabetic patients are diagnosed with diabetes, which is fed by obesity.
The study also showed that middle-aged people drink alcohol much more often than younger people.
For the study, 8,178 adults and 2,072 children (up to 15 years of age) were interviewed from households throughout England.
It turned out that 10 percent of all men and 5 percent of women drank alcohol almost every day.
Older age groups were much more likely to drink regularly, with 16 percent of men and 11 percent of women drinking almost every day in the 65 to 74 age group.
This is compared with 4 percent of men and 2 percent of women in the 25-34 bracket.
Meanwhile, 7 percent of men and women have diabetes diagnosed by a doctor, compared to 2 percent in 1994.
More than half of the adults (56 percent) appeared to have an increased, high or very high risk of chronic diseases due to their waist circumference and BMI.
And the report found more than a quarter (26 percent) of men and a third (29 percent) of women were obese. In general, 2 percent of men and 4 percent of women were morbidly obese.
Caroline Cerny, associate of the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “Consistently high percentages of overweight and obesity in both adults and children reflect the environment in which we live – an environment that is flooded with unhealthy food and drink and ruthless marketing to tell us that we have to buy and eat more and more. & # 39;
Are you a problem gambler? Take the NHS test
Score 0 for every time you & # 39; never & # 39; answers, score 1 for each time you use & # 39; sometimes & # 39; answers, score 2 for each time you & # 39; usually & # 39; answers, score 3 for every time you & # 39; almost always & # 39; replies.
1. Do you bet more than you can afford to lose?
2. Do you have to gamble with larger amounts to get the same feeling?
3. Have you tried to win back money that you have lost (chasing after losses)?
4. Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
5. Have you wondered if you have a problem with gambling?
6. Has your gambling caused health problems, including feelings of stress or anxiety?
7. Have other people criticized your bets or told you that you had a gambling problem (whether or not you thought it was true)?
8. Has your gambling caused financial problems for you or your household?
9. Have you ever felt guilty about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble?
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) health (t) NHS (t) National Lottery