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Aviva's first Health Check UK report released

Published: 29 Apr 2014

Aviva’s first Health Check UK Report reveals that although half of UK adults are classified as either overweight (31%) or obese (19%) according to their BMI, a significant proportion believe they are in very good or excellent health - unaware of the potential health risks their lifestyle brings. The findings come from the new report which aims, over time, to track the physical and mental health of the nation through trends in diet, exercise, body mass index (BMI), illness and general wellbeing. Based on a survey of 2,000 UK adults, Health Check UK identifies patterns of health and wellbeing across regions, generations and body types, identifying problems particular to these demographics. The report also has a spotlight on the damaging effect that financial, work and family pressures are having on the health of the ‘sandwich generation,’ which is detailed in a separate media release.

Top findings:

• A third of obese and half of overweight people think their health is very good
• Quarter of Brits do not have a single daily portion of fruit or veg
• A third have daily snacks high in sugar and fat
• 47% of overweight and 28% of obese people have no desire to lose weight

Furthermore, the report highlights the damaging effect that unhealthy levels of BMI are having on happiness and self-esteem. And while sedentary lifestyles and poor diet take their toll on waistlines, financial concerns are compounding the UK’s poor health as the leading cause of anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director for Aviva UK Health, says:

“Many people are failing to grasp the real importance of taking control of their current and future health, by making changes to their diet and taking more exercise. By reducing the number of people in the UK who are overweight or obese, we can help stem the rise in weight-related illness and improve the overall happiness and wellbeing of our nation".

Alongside raising general public awareness of current health issues in the UK, the report can help intermediaries start conversations with clients around health and wellbeing. The survey also identifies a clear correlation between poor physical health and stress-related disorders, which in turn can lead to issues in the workplace. These findings can help large corporate intermediaries raise awareness around the importance of ensuring that employers look at both the mental and physical health of their employees when evaluating and developing their health and wellbeing package.

For more information you can view the full report or watch Dr Doug Wright discussing the key findings in the 'Nation in Denial' and 'Sandwich Generation' videos.

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