44 pc Indians think that they are healthy but are not, says survey

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 7 June 2018

Pune: A survey has revealed that there is a disconnect between perception and reality of health and wellness among Indians. Around 70 per cent Indians view their health as acceptable or excellent and 69 per cent describe themselves as balanced eaters. Yet, lifestyle habits reveal a contradictory picture with 44 per cent of respondents admitting to rarely or never exercising and being negligent eaters.

Pune: A survey has revealed that there is a disconnect between perception and reality of health and wellness among Indians. Around 70 per cent Indians view their health as acceptable or excellent and 69 per cent describe themselves as balanced eaters. Yet, lifestyle habits reveal a contradictory picture with 44 per cent of respondents admitting to rarely or never exercising and being negligent eaters.

The survey was conducted by GNC India, where face-to-face interviews were conducted during February 2018 with 1,440 individuals in 10 cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Chennai, Delhi, Lucknow and Bengaluru.

Also, around 47 per cent respondents admitted to eating fast food at least twice a week with 15 per cent consuming takeaway food daily and 41 per cent eating fresh fruit only once a week or less. These negative eating habits spike during holidays and festivals, with 36 per cent of respondents admitting to indulging in extra sweets and 26 per cent disrupting their regular eating patterns.

The survey also highlights that no priority is given to exercise. Approximately one in five respondents admitted to never doing any exercise. If presented with a lift and a flight of stairs, 27 per cent of Indians would always use the lift and 28 per cent would be prepared to climb only one flight of stairs, before turning to the lift.

Another important aspect highlighted by the survey was a lack of sleep. Only 36 per cent received at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep twice per week or less while 29 per cent respondents rarely or never feel refreshed or energised in the mornings.

The survey also revealed that 58 per cent of respondents spend less than two hours per day in natural sunlight, which is the uninterrupted source of vitamin D.

Shadab Khan, CEO, GNC India, said, the consequences of Indian lifestyle are widely known, as are the benefits of a balanced diet and exercise, but the research found a disconnect between healthy lifestyles and actual behaviour.

“There is currently a form of ‘collective delusion’ when it comes to health and fitness; a majority believe themselves to be fit and healthy, while their daily behaviour suggests precisely the opposite,” said Khan.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, India is the diabetes capital of the world. Khan added that there is a need to educate consumers on the benefits and significance of adequate nutrition, regular sleep and recovery and exercise.

“Work colleagues and close family remain the most trusted and influential purveyors of health and lifestyle,” said Khan.

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