Half of population want to lose weight, survey finds

Half of the population are not happy with their current weight but are not necessarily prepared to address this issue, according to a recent Vhi Healthcare survey.

Half of the population are not happy with their current weight but are not necessarily prepared to address this issue, according to a recent Vhi Healthcare survey.

The study, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of the Vhi, benchmarked the attitudes of 660 adults nationwide to diet and exercise.

"The weight debate is one that has been around for a long time however it is surprising that so many of the population want to lose so much weight," said Vhi medical director Dr Bernadette Carr.

"It is also surprising that despite all of the healthy eating and activity-promoting initiatives that we hear of, that people are still looking for the 'quick-fix' when it comes to weight loss.

"We would urge people to look at their daily lives and to introduce some small changes - such as getting off the bus two stops early - to dramatically improve their overall fitness levels."

Key findings included:

Weight:

* Half of the Irish population would like to lose weight

* More women than men wish to lose weight 62% vs. 38%

* More people between the ages of 30-50, want to lose weight but the pattern can be seen across adults of all age groups.

Exercise:

* 28% of adults say that they exercise every day, while a similar number claim to exercise most days. 21% claim to exercise once a week.

* Women are more likely to take regular exercise than men.

* The people who exercise most are the under 30's and the over 50's.

Leisure Activities:

* The survey asked about what people liked to do in their leisure time. The most popular activities are sedentary ones such as watching television (96%), going to the pub (73%), and eating out (78%).

* When it comes to more active pursuits the most popular activities are going for a long brisk walk, going for a stroll or swimming.

The findings were launched today as Vhi Healthcare announced details of a series of health seminars, VHItality, which will take place nationwide in partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football

Association.

The evenings will feature a panel of speakers who will give advice on how to improve overall health, fitness and diet, reduce the risk of developing cancer and will also give tips on how to minimise stress.

The first seminar will be hosted in Dublin's Croke Park, at 6.30pm on March 15, and the second will be hosted in Cork's Clarion Hotel on April 18.

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