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Survey cites increasingly unhealthy Greek lifestyle October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle.
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21st century Greeks have adopted a lifestyle significantly less healthy than that of previous generations, according to the findings of a survey released on Thursday, with one result showing life expectancy plummeting from the 2nd highest in European Union, in 1991, to just 11th place in 2004.

According to its results, present-day Greeks are “committing a slow suicide” on a daily basis by eating too much, smoking incessantly, spending too much time in front of the television and completely ignoring the need to exercise or undergo regular medical exams.

The results of the survey were announced by Athens University professor of social and preventative medicine Ioannis Tountas and were based on an analysis of a number of European and Greek studies regarding lifestyle and habits.

They indicated that Greece currently holds one of the highest positions worldwide for rates of smoking, since 49.9 percent of men and 30.8 percent of women are smokers and the numbers are tending to increase.

About 60 percent of the population is overweight, with Greeks ranking as the most overweight and obese nationality in Europe after the British.

They also tend not to exercise, with one third of men and about half of women saying they do not do any exercise.

Most worrying is the evidence that Greeks have to a great extent abandoned their previously healthy Mediterranean diet, with current dietary trends diverging as much as 50 percent from the “Med diet” model, while they do not take precautionary action against disease, with 35 of Greek adults suffering from some chronic ailment.

Studies carried out by Dr. Tountas showed that the lower socio-economic classes tended to have more health problems, with a rate of 36.9 percent, compared to the higher classes (30.4 percent).

The inverse relationship between income and health also held true across regions, since areas with a low per capita GDP, like eastern Macedonia and Thrace, tended to have a higher mortality index and a higher rate of cardiovascular disease.

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