Room for improvement on the health front

Healthy Ireland Survey shows only one in four people get their recommended five-a-day, while nearly 30% are binge drinkers.



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20 October 2016

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While health has become a major focus across many of Ireland’s convenience stores and supermarkets, it appears consumers still have some way to go when it comes to achieving healthy lifestyles, according to the results of the Department of Health’s ‘Healthy Ireland Survey 2016’.

Despite the government’s health warnings that one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related illness, 23% of adults in Ireland smoke – the same proportion of people reported in the 2015 survey.

Also unchanged from last year is the amount of people who want to stop smoking, which still stands at 48%. What’s more, one in five people under 25 smoke.

Other findings showed only 27% of Irish people get their five-a-day of fruit and veg and 30% are binge drinkers.

Meanwhile, 42% of people eat six or more portions of snack food a day. Almost three-quarters (74%) eat breakfast every day, while 4% never eat breakfast. The survey also found 59% of Irish people say they’re too busy to do more exercise.

ABFI response

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) said it welcomed the findings of the report and highlighted the fact that alcohol consumption in Ireland is continuing to decline.

According to Ross MacMathúna, director of ABFI: “These results confirm what we in the industry already know, that alcohol consumption in Ireland is declining and the vast majority of Irish consumers have a mature and responsible relationship with alcohol. Indeed, 58% of those surveyed in the report said they drink alcohol less frequently than once a week and the report also showed a decline in the numbers engaged in binge drinking.

“Todays’ results support those of the recent WHO Health Behaviour in School Aged Children Study which stated “Ireland is amongst a group of countries which have the most abstemious adolescents”.  The reality is consumption of alcohol in Ireland has declined by 25%  over the last 15 years and is declining in particular amongst our young people. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, the weekly drinking habits of those between 55 and 64 were found to be the highest.”




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