New research into health literacy levels across England has shown that health information is too complex and that 43% of people aged between 16 and 65 years are unable to effectively understand and use everyday health information. The figure rises to 61% when the information also requires maths skills. There are 34.1 million adults in England aged 16–65 years; this means that between 15–21 million people of working age across the country may not be able to understand and use the information they need to look after their health. Previous research from the US has shown that people with low health literacy levels have poorer health, are less likely to engage in cancer screening programmes and are less likely to be able to manage illnesses such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and asthma. This new research from London South Bank University suggests that this may also be true for our population across England.