Generational health drift: perspectives, evidence, and consequences from the British birth cohorts

10 Jul 2024

Less than a week after the general election we will be hosting an event presenting the evidence on generational health drift. We will focus on data from the CLS cohorts, which provide a powerful tool to understand generational changes in health as well as inequalities in health.

Date Wednesday 10 July 2024, 1pm - 4:45pm, followed by a networking reception until 6pm (UK time)

Free in-person event. Roberts Building, University College London, Torrington Pl, London, WC1E 7JE (show on map)


Via the MS Forms registration page. Please note you will NOT receive an auto confirmation on booking. Joining instructions will be sent nearer to the event date.

About the event

Improving health and care have been at the forefront of election campaigns and manifestos for decades, with political parties repeatedly pledging to improve GP waiting times, A&E response rates and access to social care.

Evidence from the British birth cohorts and longitudinal research suggests that more recently born generations are living longer, but in worse health. Younger generations are suffering from worse mental health, higher prevalence of diabetes, asthma, and obesity compared to older generations, even when these comparisons are made at the same age.

This earlier onset and decline in general health is something we term “generational health drift” and has considerable consequence for population ageing, mortality trends and the economy.

Why take part

  • Develop an understanding of “generational health drift” and the power of the British birth cohorts to expose generational changes in health.
  • Understand how Britain’s health compares in an international context, including in terms of health inequalities.
  • Explore the consequences of generational health declines for inactivity in the workforce, and subsequent impacts on the economy.
  • Engage in a panel discussion from experts both in academia and outside of academia, exploring the consequences of generational health drift and what can be done.


  • Professor George Ploubidis is the Principal Investigator for the 1958 National Child Development Cohort (NCDS), the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70), as well as being co-lead for the Physical Health and Ageing themes of research at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS).
  • Dimitris Pipinis is a Senior Economic Manager in the Strategic Analysis team at NHS England.
  • Mathew Ojo is a Senior Economic Manager in the Strategic Analysis team at NHS England.
  • Laura Gimeno is a PhD student at CLS, and prior to this completed a Masters at LSHTM and an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge.
  • Dr Charis Bridger Staatz is a Senior Research Fellow in Population Health and Quantitative Social Sciences at CLS.
  • Dr Darío Moreno-Agostino is a Senior Research Fellow in Population Mental Health at CLS.
  • Rachel Seabrook is the Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager at CLS.
  • Professor Aaron Reeves is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at Oxford University.
  • Esther McNamara is a Senior Health Policy Lead at the International Longevity Centre, and works on various projects including the Mental Health Matters and Healthy Ageing and Prevention Index workstreams
  • Adam Memon is Director of Demand Insights at NHS England. He was previously at the Treasury as Special Economic Adviser to the Chancellor and has worked primarily in economic policy roles across government.

** More presenters will be added shortly **

Programme for the day

1pm – 1:30pm Arrival and Registration
1:30pm – 1:40pm Welcome and Introduction
1:40pm – 2pm Keynote: overview and theory (Prof George Ploubidis)
2pm – 2:30pm Cohorts in focus: obesity, mental health, diabetes
2:30pm – 2:50pm Review of the evidence: generational differences in health and disability (Laura Gimeno)
2:50pm – 2:15pm Refreshment break
3:15pm – 3:25pm Inequalities (Dr Charis Bridger Staatz)
3:25pm – 3:45pm Consequences: health and work (Laura Gimeno)
3:45pm – 4pm Short break
4:00pm – 5pm Panel discussion: looking forward
5pm – 6pm Networking reception in the Engineering café

Join our mailing list

Sign up to our mailing list for updates on this event, including notification of when booking is open, and keep up to date with future training events, the latest data releases, research and other news from CLS and our cohort studies.

Contact our Communications Team

Event enquiries

Richard Steele
Events and Marketing Officer

Phone: 020 7911 5320

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL


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