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Who are the biggest sceptics? National Health Survey 2014

Our National Health Report looks at how Mr and Mrs Average compare against the established national health guidelines, but not unsurprisingly, there are areas where we are more sceptical to the standards than others. So, who are most sceptical to the national health guidelines?

Scepticism 

When it comes to smoking and drinking too much alcohol, it appears that most people can see the benefits and hence are in agreement with the established national health guidelines. However, surprisingly 56% of us are sceptical about BMI as a reliable way to measure obesity. This is especially worrying with regards to the younger generation with 66% of 16-24 year olds stating they are sceptical of BMI. With so many people of the UK being sceptical of it, this perhaps goes some way to explain why 29% of people in the UK underestimated their BMI.

Drinking enough water and keeping our bodies hydrated has been widely recognised medically as very beneficial for our bodies, however nearly 2 in 5 of us are sceptical of this established national health guideline. Men in general are more sceptical, with 43% stating that they were sceptical compared to 34% of women. This difference in scepticism becomes apparent again in eating ‘5 a day’ (38% of men sceptical compared to 29% of women), getting a good night’s sleep (28% of men sceptical compared to 23%) and drinking too much alcohol (29% of men being sceptical compared to 21% of women).

Drilling down into a regional level, Northern Ireland is the most sceptical region across the board, apart from when it comes to BMI as a health indicator for which London is the most sceptical (62% of Londoners stating this). The South East appears to be the least sceptical region with 66% not being sceptical of drinking plenty of water, 73% saying they are not sceptical of eating ‘5 a day’ and 81% not sceptical about getting a good night sleep.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the younger generations are the most sceptical about all of the established national health guidelines; amongst the age group 16-24, 44% are sceptical of getting a good night sleep, 36% of not smoking, 38% of not drinking too much alcohol, 47% of eating ‘5 a day’, 50% of drinking plenty of water and 66% of BMI. This significantly contrasts to those aged over 65 of which 18% said they are sceptical of getting a good night sleep, 15% of not smoking, 20% of not drinking too much alcohol, 27% of eating ‘5 a day’, 34% of drinking plenty of water and 50% of BMI. This is a worrying contrast as this generation arguably has had the most education when it comes to nutrition and health; however it is clear from this that they either do not believe in all they have been told or or choose to ignore this established health advice.

Download the report

Download the full National Health Report 2014 here.

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Find out more about our BMI and training habits here.

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How stressed and anxious are we? Find out more here.

Emotional Wellbeing

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