Welsh Health Survey Shows High Levels of Obesity, Smoking and Drinking

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16th September 2013 11:20 - Health

The recently released 2012 Welsh Health Survey shows that just a third (33%) of adults in Wales reported eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables the previous day, while three tenths (29%), reported being physically active on five or more days in the past week.

Just one in six adults reported that their health was “excellent”, while 35% said it was “very good”, 29% said it was good, 15% said it was “fair”, and 6% said it was “poor”.

Of adult respondents, a quarter (23%) smoke, two fifths (42%) reported drinking above the recommended guidelines, and 26% admitted binge drinking on at least one day within the past week.

The survey also shows that a third (34%) of children and over half (59%) of adults in Wales are classed as overweight or obese, with a quarter (23%) of adults falling into the “obese” category.

Demographics show that people in Merthyr Tydfil are the most likely to be overweight, the figure stands at over three fifths (65%), with three tenths (28%) classed as “obese.”

Furthermore, a fifth (20%) of adults said they were currently being treated for high blood pressure, 14% for a respiratory illness, 12% for arthritis, 11% for a mental illness, 9% for a heart condition, and 7% for diabetes.

Just over a third (34%) reported that their daily activities have been limited due to a health related problem or disability.

Welsh Secretary Dr Richard Lewis said:

“We have to address the burden that poor lifestyle choice place - predominantly around obesity, alcohol and smoking – because we know how much chronic disease is set to rise in the future.”

BMA Cymru Wales’ Senior Public Affairs Officer John Jenkins said:

“It is not surprising that people in the most deprived areas of Wales reported the worst health. This is wake-up call to Welsh Government at a time when NHS resources are already stretched to breaking point. People must take responsibility for their own health – the consequences of not doing so could cripple the NHS.”

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