A UEA professor and his mother are taking on the United Nations.

Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, 49, and his mother Ann, 80, of Norwich, have launched a campaign against one of the goals on the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDG).

Under the proposals, UN member states will be given targets to cut the number of 'premature' deaths from diseases such as cancer, strokes, diabetes and dementia by one third by 2030.

However because many are age-related illnesses, people who succumb from the age of 70 are not deemed to have died prematurely and so are not included in the target.

Both Mr Lloyd-Sherlock and his mother have described this goal as ageism.

Mrs Lloyd-Sherlock said: 'I don't buy into this idea of premature mortality.

'It seems to be saying that once you hit 70, then you're ready to die. I passed that mark 10 years ago and I certainly don't feel that way.

'I was recently captain of the bowling team, I went to see Engelbert Humperdinck perform recently and I am going to the theatre in London soon.

'I am still very active and have lots to do.'

Mr Lloyd-Sherlock, professor of social policy and international development at the UEA said: 'This premature mortality target is highly unethical as it discriminates against older people, indicating that mortality among the over 70s should not be a major public concern.

'This could affect millions of people who turn 70 within the next 15 years. The target would be a challenge for all countries and would require a substantial part of health expenditure away from the over-70s.

'We are calling for a change to the wording of the SDG target 3.4, replacing 'premature mortality' with 'preventable mortality'.'

As part of the campaign Mrs Lloyd-Sherlock has created a Facebook account in which she has made nearly 800 friends in two weeks.

More than 100 people also like a Facebook page called 'Not worth less at 70' and a petition can be found by going through their website www.plloydsherlock.wix.com/ageist-sdg

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