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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Annual survey focuses on health

22 November 2013

The Public Health Department contributed a number of health-related questions to this year’s Jersey Annual Social Survey (JASS). The following topics are covered in the 2013 survey:​

Perceived health status

  • 83% of islanders rate their health as good or better

Risk factors and lifestyle

  • Obesity. The rise in obesity is a concern worldwide. Obesity is a known risk factor for numerous health problems, including hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, musculoskeletal diseases (arthritis) and some cancers. According to the 2013 JASS 1 in 6 (16%) of Jersey adults are obese. This is lower than the UK rate, where 1 in 4 are obese (25%) and similar to the latest OECD average(2010) which shows 17% of the adult populations reported on were obese. Waist measures indicate that 17% of the local population are likely to be at very high risk of heart disease
  • Physical activity. 51% of adults meet recommended physical activity levels of five sessions of 30 minutes moderate activity a week.
  • Healthy diet. Over one third (36%) of adults eat recommended levels of fruit and vegetables. This has changed very little over the past few years and is similar to UK figures
  • Smoking. Tobacco is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths worldwide. It is a major risk factor for at least two of the leading causes of premature death – circulatory disease and cancer. Smoking is a contributory factor for respiratory diseases, while smoking in pregnant women is one of the main risk factors for low birth-weight babies and illness among infants. It remains the largest avoidable risk to health in most countries worldwide. 22% of Jersey adults smoke, while 16% of adults smoke daily
  • Smoke-free. Around 80% would support a law to stop smoking in cars with children – including 66% of daily smokers

Long-standing illness and disability

  • 25% of the adult population report having a long-standing illness or disability that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months. Of these adults 20% said it limited their daily activities considerably
Dr Susan Turnbull, Medical Officer of Health said “While I am pleased to see that Jersey compares favourably on many of the known lifestyle risk factors, this is not a cause for complacency. In some of these areas there has been little improvement over the years while in others, like obesity, our Island’s numbers are increasing, as they are everywhere else in the world.”


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