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BMI Healthcare Public Health Poll

A public opinion poll on behalf of BMI Healthcare.

Date Published: 30 Jan 2011

Categories: Health | Public and communities | Social | UK




• Since the recession, half of all women have experienced sleeping problems or feelings of depression, and four out of 10 eat less healthily
• 48% of men and women with worsened health believe this is at least to some extent due to the recession or to their related financial situation

Women’s  health and wellbeing has suffered much more than men’s during the recession, with women reporting increased stress levels leading to sleep deprivation and feelings of depression and limited budgets contributing to unhealthy diets, according to new research.

A ComRes survey of the British public, commissioned by BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest independent provider of private healthcare, shows that 53% of women say they have slept less since the recession because they feel more stressed, and half of all women (49%) say they have been feeling depressed due to financial worries. Men seem to be significantly less affected, with only 37% confessing to facing either issue. 

A further 41% of females also say they have had less money over the past two years and therefore have chosen to eat more affordable, unhealthy foods. Among men, the number of unhealthy eaters stands significantly lower at 32%. Overall, 48% of those who feel their health has worsened over the last two years attribute this decline at least to some extent to the recession or financial worries.

Commenting on the results, daytime TV GP Dr Hilary Jones, who also practices at BMI Healthcare, providing health checks at BMI Hampshire Clinic in Basingstoke, said: “Stress, sleeplessness and poor diets can have a significant impact on our wellbeing, but more importantly, they can be a contributing factor to more serious health issues, such as heart disease and weight gain leading to obesity. In order to avoid consequences for your health, trying to keep your stress levels low and improving your diet is a good first step. However, I would also advise people to consider having a health check to determine any potential disease risks you might have and to get personalised medical advice on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. For some people, receiving medical tests and clinical advice can make a big difference in putting good resolutions into real action.”

Health is set to be a key priority in 2011 as almost seven out of 10 women (68%) and six out of 10 men (61%) are planning to take steps to improve their well-being in 2011. While women score higher than men with their resolutions to lose weight (71% of women vs. 64% of men) and have a healthier diet (55% of women vs. 50% of men) , the male population outdo women in their intentions to have a health check. Almost a quarter of men (23%) surveyed stated such plans, compared to only 15% of women. There also seems to be a higher awareness among men of their need to reduce their alcohol intake, with 22% of men saying they plan to drink less alcohol, compared to only 14% of women.

ComRes interviewed 2,049 adults in Great Britain by telephone between 10th December and 12th December 2010 on behalf of BMI Healthcare. The data was weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Click Here for regional data tables or below for the national results

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