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"People have become more health-conscious than in the past."

Is this sentence ungrammatical?

Someone who is not native English speaker said that it is ungrammatical to make a comparison between 'People' and 'in the past'. And then he insisted that it be corrected to "People have become more health-conscious than they used to be."

Is his argument valid?

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    The present perfect verb "have become" talks about actions in past time up to the present moment or affecting the present in some way. That makes the comparison "than in the past" logical and grammatical. "Than in the past" is interpreted as "than [they were] in the past." – user105719 Feb 1 at 8:54

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