Scottish Health Survey 2008
posted on: Oct 27, 2009
Results from the Scottish Health Survey 2008 have been published in the first report since 2003 following a major review and redesign. Linsay Gray and Alastair Leyland from the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit contributed to all sections of the report and authored chapters on smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption and obesity. The main findings of these are:
- Reported cigarette smoking has decreased to 27% of men and 25% of women in 2008.
- Non-smokers' exposure to second-hand smoke has declined markedly in the decade since 1998, following the introduction of the ban on smoking in public places; exposure in pubs and on public transport has been virtually eliminated.
- Among current smokers, 34% of men and 28% of women smoked heavily - this was higher in the middle-aged groups.
- There was an average number of 16 cigarettes smoked by men and 14 by women.
- Smoking was more common among lower socio-economic groups.
Fruit and vegetable consumption
- There has been no change in fruit and vegetable consumption since 2003, with women consuming 3.4 portions and men consuming 3.1 portions per day on average. Only a fifth of men and a quarter of women consumed the recommended amount of at least five portions per day.
- 73% of men and 79% of women had eaten any vegetables or salad on the previous day; the figures for any fruit (except fruit juice) were 73% for men and 80% for women.
- Fruit and vegetable consumption was highest in the higher socio-economic groups.
- More than two thirds of men and three fifths of women were either overweight or obese in 2008, continuing the steady upward trend. Overall obesity prevalence was 26% for men and 28% for women.
- In the under 16s, boys (38%) were more likely than girls (29%) to have a BMI outside the healthy range (either underweight or overweight).
- Obesity prevalence did not vary greatly between men according to their socio-economic classification, but it did for women, with higher levels among the lower socio-economic groups.
A summary of the main findings of the report can be found here.
The Scottish Health Survey was recently assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and has been designated as a National Statistics product. This means that the statistics are deemed to be compliant with the Code of Practice on Official Statistics, produced according to sound methods and managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.