People jogging as part of their healthy lifestyle

Israelis have unhealthy eating and exercise habits, Health Ministry says

Findings from survey testing overall health reveal that Israelis' routine habits are insufficient, and medical tests not conducted often enough; Only 30% meet the recommended physical activity standards, 17% eat recommended daily dose of fruits and veggies

Adir Yanko |
Published: 08.02.22, 14:39
A survey conducted by the Health Ministry reveals that Israelis do not follow recommendations for eating habits, do not exercise enough, and don't keep up with routine check ups.
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  • The survey looked into the habits of 4,135 Israeli subjects throughout the years 2018-2020.
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    People jogging as part of their healthy lifestyle
    People jogging as part of their healthy lifestyle
    People jogging as part of their healthy lifestyle
    (Photo: shutterstock)
    "The survey was conducted in order to gather information on the medical condition of the adult population in Israel and use it to determine policies and streamline resource allocation," explained Professor Lital Keinan-Boker, the Deputy Director of the Israel Center for Disease Control.
    "The survey is used to identify trends, figure out particular medical situations to assess successful intervention plans and health promotion," she said. "It presents estimated rates of prevalence of diseases and chronic conditions according to self reporting, helps evaluate the utilization of health services and test patterns of health behavior," she said.
    The data revealed that only 40% of the participants aged 50 and up have ever done a fecal occult blood test, which is recommended for this age group and could lead to early detection of colon cancer. According to the Israel Cancer Association, about 3,200 people are diagnosed with colon cancer every year, and early detection can significantly increase chances of survival.
    Additionally, 60% the participant aged 40 and up have never had a colonoscopy, which could also lead to early detection of colon cancer.
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    קולונוסקופיה
    קולונוסקופיה
    Illustration for the need to screen for colon cancer
    (Photo: shutterstock)
    The findings also showed that only 67% of women have ever done a PAP smear for early detection of cervical cancer, despite the widespread awareness of the disease among women. Amongst Arab women the number is even lower, standing at only 54%.
    Despite the Health Ministry's recommendations, only 11% of women between ages 21 and 50 received the vaccine against the papilloma virus, which could prevent cervical cancer, pharyngeal cancer, anal cancer and vulvar / vaginal cancer.
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    סרטן צוואר הרחם פפילומה
    סרטן צוואר הרחם פפילומה
    Cervical cancer studies in a lab
    (Photo: shutterstock)
    Concerning results were seen in Israelis' routine lifestyle, revealing that most don't do much physical activity. The findings show that only 30% of the participants in the survey, reach the recommendation for weekly physical activity - moderate-intense physical activity for 150 minutes a week, or high-intensity physically activity for 75 minutes. The other 70% are either much less active, or not at all.
    The survey also uncovered that only 17% consume at least 5 servings of fruit or vegetables daily.
    Results were also revealed after about 50% of the participants reported that they were overweight or obese.
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    תזונה בריאה
    תזונה בריאה
    Preparation of a fresh vegetable salad
    (צילום: Shutterstock)
    The Health Ministry warned that these trends have significant consequences on the public health. "It is totally clear that we need to be more aware of the concept of preventative medicine," said Dr. Shlomo Segev, Head of Institute at Sheba Medical Center.
    "I recommend that anyone over the age of 50 submits to periodic check ups," he said. "Even the GP can conduct tests in his surgery. Early detection of colon cancer means the difference between being terminally ill to being healthy after the tumor is removed," he said.
    Segev said that women test even less then men and must be more responsible for their health.

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