Wednesday, 18th July 2012
More Gib Lifestyle survey details released
The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) held its second meeting in public, yesterday afternoon, at the John Mackintosh Hall.
One of the main topics of interest at the meeting was the Public Health Report: Health and Lifestyle Survey. This survey revealed that 60% of the Gibraltar population are overweight or obese, giving Gibraltar a lower level than the UK, but higher than Spain. Of the overall population in Gibraltar, 21% are obese and by the age of 65, around 25% of all people are obese. Three quarters of men aged 45 or over are overweight.
Of the people who are overweight, 42% of them are unaware that they are overweight and one third of the population think they are about the right weight for their height.
With regards to what is eaten in Gibraltar, 75% of Gibraltar people do not eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables each day, which is significantly worse than England, Wales or Jersey.
Youngest men, between the ages of 16 and 24, have a significantly worse diet than any of the other age and sex categories and people from the south or west areas of Gibraltar have better diets than those from the north or Upper Town areas.
The report also covered the topics smoking, alcohol consumption and skin protection. With regards to smoking the report said that 29% of the population are current smokers, a figure that is similar to the amount of smokers in Spain, but is much higher than England, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Wales and Jersey.
The GHA noted that by comparison in 1984 California had 26% of its population smoking, with the introduction of smoking bans and anti-smoking campaigns; it now has less than 12% of its population smoking. Gibraltar has the highest number of smokers in all the countries mentioned above for the youngest age group, that of 16 to 24 years old.
The report also revealed that younger men are significantly more likely to smoke than older men and that people today are starting to smoke from a younger age than in their parents or grandparents generations.
In relation to alcohol consumption, 31% of young people i.e. between the age of 16 and 24, binge drink at least once a week. This is significantly higher proportion than in any other age group but is on a par with the figures in England, Scotland and Wales.
Finally in relation to skin protection, the GHA were surprised that the report revealed a third of the population do not normally use sunscreen.