The Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) has welcomed the latest publication of Northern Ireland’s Health Survey 2017/18 which release information on the health behaviours of the population.
The survey of 3,355 people aged 16 and over living in Northern Ireland gives an overview of lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption and general health.
Some of the key findings include;
- 70% described their health as being good or very good, and the majority (86%) feel they lead a fairly or very healthy life.
- Around one-fifth of respondents (18%) were current cigarette smokers. This is not a statistically significant change from the 20% reported in 2016/17 though smoking prevalence has fallen from 24% in 2010/11.
- Smoking prevalence in the most deprived areas (30%) continues to be around three times that in the least deprived areas (11%).
- A small proportion of respondents aged 16+ (8%) reported that they currently use electronic cigarettes, an increase from 6% in 2016/17. Around two-fifths of these respondents (40%) are current cigarette smokers while (56%) used to smoke on a regular basis.
- In over four fifths (86%) of homes, smoking is not permitted. Of those who owned a family car, almost 9 out of 10 did not allow smoking in their car.
- Over a quarter of adults (27%) were categorised as obese with a further 37% categorised as overweight.
- Obesity levels have shown an upward trend from the 23% recorded in 2010/11.
- Whilst obesity levels were similar, males were more likely than females to be overweight.
- Around three-quarters of children aged 2-15 were categorised as either normal weight or underweight, while 18% were overweight and 9% were obese. Since the Health Survey Northern Ireland 2010/11, the proportion of children who are overweight or obese has remained at similar levels.
- Around three-quarters of respondents aged 18 and over drink alcohol, 81% of males and 75% of females.
- A fifth (18%) drink above recommended weekly limits, with males (31%) around three times more likely to do so than females (9%).
- The proportion of respondents drinking above recommended weekly limits has fallen from 24% in 2010/11.
- Females (21%) showed more signs of loneliness than males (18%).
- Respondents living in urban areas and those in the most deprived areas were more likely to report signs of loneliness than those in rural areas and the least deprived areas respectively.
- Younger people (aged 16-34) showed more signs of loneliness (21%) than people aged 65 and over (14%).
You can read the survey here.