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Poor lifestyle choices put Scots at greater risk of cancer

Published on 29/09/2011

Latest figures reveal that poor diet is a major health issue in Scotland, and could lead to a rise in cancer cases across the country. Health insurance policies may offer a solution, by rewarding people who lead a healthy lifestyle.

A Scottish government funded report looked at a combination of five high-risk lifestyle factors- smoking, alcohol consumption, minimal consumption of fruit and vegetables, physical activity, and obesity.

These five risk factors account for around 90% of cancer cases in high income countries, and are identified as among the nine risk factors responsible for 35% of all cancer deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

The Scottish Government study looked at the lifestyle choices of thousands of people. It revealed that 15% of people aged over 16 are overweight, do not exercise enough, and eat less than five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

A tenth of adults add drinking excess alcohol to that combination. In fact, the majority of Scots, 59%, had at least three of the risk factors, and just 2% of Scots undertook none of the risks.

The report said: "The fact that low fruit and vegetable consumption appears in all of the top five risk combinations is obviously a reflection of the high prevalence of adults in Scotland who do not meet the five-a-day recommendation."

This news comes after the World Research Cancer Fund recently suggested that 80,000 fewer Brits could be diagnosed with cancer if they ate healthy, exercised and lost weight.

Some health insurers also offer rewards for leading a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding these five risk factors.  ‘Vitality’ is core to PruHealth’s Healthcare plans, a scheme which rewards things like walking, going to the gym, eating healthily or not smoking.

Compare health insurance policies online now with ActiveQuote to be rewarded for leading a healthy lifestyle.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011


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