83% claim good health, but half overweight

Although more than eight in 10 people report that they are in good health, more than half of us are overweight and more than one in three have a long standing illness or condition, according to the CSO.

Results from the self-reported Irish Health Survey 2015 show that 83% of people surveyed rank their own health as good or very good, while 14% rate their health as fair.

Some 3% believe their health is poor or very poor.

However, 35% of all respondents can be classified as overweight, with a further 18% classified as obese, according to their body mass index.

The study finds 3% of the group are underweight.

More than three in ten people over the age of 15 who took part in the survey say they have a long-standing illness or health condition.

The most reported health conditions are chronic back defects (19%), high blood pressure (16%), and allergies such as rhinitis, eye inflammation, dermatitis, food allergies, or other allergies, excluding allergic asthma (14%).

The survey finds that one in five (22%) in the group are smokers, with 15% of people saying they smoke regularly and 7% reporting that they smoke occasionally.

83% claim good health, but half overweight

The majority of those surveyed consume alcohol (81%), with one in six reporting that they binge drink at least once a week.

This figure varies between the genders, with a higher percentage of men (24%) than women (8%) drinking over six or more standard drinks in one sitting every week.

With 8% of people experiencing symptoms of moderate depression in the previous two weeks prior to answering the survey, 10% of 15-24-year-olds said they visited a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist in the previous year.

Conversely, one in fifty over-75s reported visiting a mental health professional in the prior 12 months

One in four people say they eat five or more portions of fruit or vegetables daily, with half of women (48%) and a third of men (35%) eating at least five portions a day, the survey finds.

A quarter of the population (24%) report missing at least one day of work due to an illness in the previous year, with 74% of people visiting a GP at least once in the previous year, with the 25-34 age group the highest percentage absent from work.

The average number of GP visits was 6.2, according to the report. More than one in ten people were admitted to a hospital over the previous year.

The report also finds that 35% of people visited a medical or surgical consultant in the prior 12 months.

The survey finds that one in ten people reported providing care to someone with chronic health condition — with 86% reporting they are caring for a family member. The average number of hours providing care is 44.7 per week.

However, this figure varies depending on the respondent’s location; in the border region, respondents spent on average 54.6 hours providing care, compared to 39.6 hours in the mid-east region.

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