Just the Facts: A weighty matter

Now that the holiday season has passed, how do we feel about the extra kilograms?

Jerusalem BMI 311 (photo credit: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies)
Jerusalem BMI 311
(photo credit: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies)
The people of Israel love to eat, and to eat a lot. This is especially true during the holiday season, when – even if we want to – it is very hard to resist the many temptations spread before us on the holiday table. Thus, even if we maintain balanced nutrition throughout most of the year, we allow ourselves to go a little crazy during the holidays. In any case we’re planning to go on a diet after the holidays, right?
So, now it’s after the holidays. Some of us are carrying a few extra kilograms. In this context the Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics provides interesting data regarding the weight of Jerusalem residents and their attitude toward dieting.
The ratio of a person’s height to weight (body mass index or BMI) makes it possible to measure whether the person is underweight, of normal weight, or is carrying excess weight, overweight or obese. The survey shows that during 2010, 51 percent of Jerusalem residents aged 20 and above carried excess weight or were overweight or obese. In comparison, this figure was 59% for Haifa residents, 52% for Rishon Lezion residents, 37% for Tel Aviv residents and 50% overall for Israelis.
It is interesting to note that Jerusalemites were satisfied with their weight in comparison to the residents of other major cities. When asked whether they would like to lose weight, the percentage of Jerusalemites who responded affirmatively was 41%. In comparison, this figure was 52% for Tel Aviv residents, 59% for Haifa 60% for Rishon Lezion and 54% for all Israelis.
Among the residents of Jerusalem and Haifa who responded that they would like to lose weight or maintain their current weight, 22% indicated that they were dieting. The percentage of dieters among residents of Rishon Lezion was 38% and among both residents of Tel Aviv and of Israel in general was 24%. The survey also revealed that among Israel’s residents who reported that they were dieting, 27% received their basic guidelines from a dietician, 18% from family or acquaintances, 15% from books, the Internet, or professional material and 10% from a physician. www.jiis.org