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7 shocking health statistics

Seven surprising health and fitness figures

From your BMI to your heart rate, healthy living often revolves around numbers. However, here are 7 surprising health statistics you may be unaware of.

One in 10 parents think cola counts as fruit

According to a survey of family eating habits by food company Green Giant, one in 10 parents in Britain believe that drinking cola counts towards their five recommended portions of fruit and veg. Not only that, one in 10 of those surveyed also believed that chips contributed to the 5-a-day health campaign, while one in five thought that fruit-flavoured sweets counted towards this target. Surprisingly, one in 20 of those questioned did not however believe that oranges or bananas counted towards their portions of fruit and veg.

Fruit sweet - not one of your 5 a day

One in six women would rather be blind than fat

While many of us would pay good money for the perfect body, research by Arizona State University found that a lot of women would give up a great deal more if it meant being slim – including their eyesight. According to this survey, a surprising one in six women would rather be blind than be obese. Furthermore, many women stated they would prefer alcoholism or catching herpes to being overweight, while one in four would prefer to suffer from depression.

48 per cent of women want cosmetic surgery

Research findings published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggest that body satisfaction and confidence for women are at an all time low. According to this survey, a huge 48 per cent of women surveyed would be interested in having cosmetic surgery, while a further 23 per cent would possibly be interested. Although men’s interest in surgery was significantly lower, 23 per cent of men still claimed to be interested in surgery, while 17 per cent would potentially be.

One third of all cancers are preventable

Cancer is the biggest premature killer, accounting for 40% of premature deaths. However, while experts are unclear about the causes of some forms of cancer, the World Health Organization has revealed that one third of all cancers can actually be prevented by careful lifestyle choices. Some of the main preventable causes of cancer include smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, alcohol, infection and environmental pollution.

Smokers lose one third of their everyday memory

While there are many shocking statistics related to smoking (such as that approximately every 6 seconds, someone dies due to tobacco) perhaps a less well known one is that, on top of many of the well publicised health effects of smoking, it can also cause smokers to lose one third of their everyday memory. According to the study by Northumbria University, smokers performed significantly worse in memory tests than those who did not smoke; however, they found that kicking the habit restored their ability to recollect information.

Only six per cent of Americans exercise for 30 minutes a day

The general recommendation for good health and fitness for adults is to get a minimum of 30 minutes daily exercise. However, according to a Cooking Light Insight survey, only six per cent of Americans meet this recommendation. Though a further 22 per cent claim to exercise three to four times per week, this still leaves a high percentage of people who are failing to exercise regularly and therefore increasing their risk of obesity and heart disease.

You could unknowingly eat 46 teaspoons of sugar a day

You may not think that your diet is too high in sugar, but even if you steer clear of desserts and chocolate, you could still be eating well over the recommended maximum sugar intake. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, food companies have been increasing the sugar content of processed foods to make them more appetising, meaning that many are unaware of how much they are eating. The study showed that some people are unknowingly eating up to 46 teaspoons a day, increasing their risk of health conditions including heart disease.

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