A report from NHS Health Scotland suggests that many people choose disregard healthy lifestyle advice. It also suggests that there is a gap in people’s perceptions of their own lifestyle and how healthy they actually are.
The report looked at responses to the 2010 Scottish Health survey to reach its conclusions. The researchers suggest that just offering people advice regarding a healthy lifestyle wasn’t enough to make a change.
From the survey results, 87% of people knew that five portions of fruit and vegetables per day was the recommended level. However, only 22% of people followed the advice.
The report also found that whilst the majority of people drank more alcohol than the recommended limit, 41% of them believed that they were a ‘very light and occasional drinker’ and a further 21% described themselves as a ‘light but regular drinker.’
Currently, people are recommended to undertake approximately 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, however only 39% of people did so, whilst 52% of people believed that they did.
Many parents appeared to show some misconceptions over their children’s weight, 83% thought their children’s weight was ‘about right,’ whilst 33% actually had an unhealthy weight and 14% were obese.
One positive finding was that most smokers acted to avoid smoking around non-smokers and children.
Louise Flanagan from NHS Scotland said: “More needs to be done to understand and address barriers to acting on health advice, particularly among those in more disadvantaged socioeconomic groups, who are less likely to feel that they have much influence over their own health.”