Over 40 percent of Swiss are overweight



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Swiss health survey: Over 40 percent of Swiss overweight

According to the Swiss health survey in 2012, only three percent described their health as poor. Obesity, alcohol and tobacco would still cause problems.

Majority Feels Healthy In the latest health survey by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), 83 percent of the approximately 21,500 respondents stated that their health well-being was good to very good. A further 14 percent rated their state of health as mediocre, according to the results presented on Thursday in Bern. BFS Director Georges-Simon Ulrich said it was also gratifying that three out of four people would be physically active. Accordingly, the proportion of people who exercise at least two and a half hours a week with moderate intensity has increased from 61.5 to 72 percent since 2002.

41 percent overweight In addition to these positive results, negative developments can also be identified. More and more people in Switzerland would therefore struggle with being overweight, which increases their risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 41 percent of the population over the age of 15 have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more and are therefore considered to be overweight by international standards.
More men than women overweight The proportion of obese people (BMI over 30) has almost doubled in the past 20 years. Especially since younger people between the ages of 15 and 24 are increasingly overweight. The percentage of obesity in 1992 was still six percent for men and five percent for women; today it reaches eleven and nine percent, respectively. Women are less likely to be overweight than men. Every second man over the age of 35 would weigh too much. A connection with the level of education is also seen. University graduates are less likely to be overweight. However, the BMI is not entirely uncontroversial as a yardstick for overweight.

Less passive smoking due to stricter regulations According to the health survey, the stricter rules against smoking to protect against passive smoking would also have made itself felt. For example, six percent of the respondents indicated that they had to smoke passively on a regular basis, i.e. at least one hour a day. In 2002 the proportion was still 26 percent. According to Marco Storni from the FSO, the proportion of smokers has remained more or less constant, but there is a tendency towards more casual and fewer heavy smokers. The proportion of the latter who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day has halved from 18 to 9 percent within 20 years.

Men in particular tend to drink According to the study, 18 percent of those surveyed would show risky behavior when consuming alcohol. According to the FSO, it is risky if someone regularly drinks too much (four 0.3-liter glasses of beer for men) or drinks significantly too much at least once a month (six glasses and more). Daily alcohol consumption is more common among older people than among younger people. The so-called intoxication is primarily a male problem and above all one of the younger ones.

Main risk factors overweight, alcohol and tobacco Pascal Strupler, director of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, was pleased with the good health well-being of the population. However, like the study authors, he left open whether this well-being also corresponds to the real state of health. Strupler raised concerns that cardiovascular and cancer diseases had increased in recent years. The main risk factors for non-communicable diseases are still overweight, alcohol and tobacco.

Important disease prevention That is why disease prevention is so important. The risk groups would have to be specifically addressed for information about health risks. The health survey provides information for this. The results of the survey now presented are the first evaluations which the FSO wants to follow up with more differentiated studies in the coming year. The health survey is carried out every five years as part of the new Swiss census. (ad)

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