Many overweight Israelis are in denial, poll shows

While two-thirds of Israeli adults aged 25 to 64 and 18.6 percent of children aged 12 to 18 are overweight, 70% of a representative sample deny it.

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October 26, 2010 06:07
1 minute read.
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Fat kid 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

While two-thirds of Israeli adults aged 25 to 64 and 18.6 percent of children aged 12 to 18 are overweight, 70% of a representative sample deny it. This was learned from a new MarketWatch survey commissioned by the Israel National Diabetes Council.

The survey also found that 37% of the adults completely avoid exercise and 13% had been told by a doctor that they have excess blood sugar. It was commissioned for the council’s November 22 event at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds to increase awareness of diabetes, which will be attended by mayors, ministers, MKs and other decision-makers.

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A quarter of those polled said they were smokers, with a fifth of them (mostly men) smoking regularly and 14% occasionally.

Residents of Tel Aviv and the central region are more likely to smoke than those in Haifa and the North. Only 19% said they exercised regularly and 36% once or twice a week. Women and smokers are less likely than others to exercise.

Those queried were also quite ignorant about the fact that uncontrolled diabetes can kill, in addition to significantly raising the risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney damage and limb amputations.

National council chairman Prof. Itamar Raz, head of the diabetes unit at Hadassah University Medical Center, said that if the public adopts a healthful lifestyle, most cases of type II diabetes can be avoided. If not, 2,500 Israelis will continue to die from the disease each year.



The public also showed great ignorance about the types of diabetes – the autoimmune disease that usually begins in childhood and requires regular shots of insulin, and the adult-onset type in which existing insulin in the body is not effective in metabolizing sugar.

Sixteen percent were unaware that type II diabetes can be prevented, while five percent said they themselves had been diagnosed with it.


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