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Knowledge, attitudes and motivation to health

Runners
Published: April 2013

Aim

We wanted to find out more about health-related behaviours, experiences and characteristics in Scotland.

Findings

On the whole, we found that most people already know which behaviours are healthy and what action to take to improve their health.

Most people, 9 in 10, were aware of the 5-a-day recommendation. Half of adults in Scotland felt they had 'a great deal' of influence over their own health.

Improvements still need to be made in the following areas:

  • Just over 1 in 4 adults know how much exercise the government recommends, but 44% underestimated this.
  • 27.7 % of adults in Scotland were obese in 2011; yet 76% of those who were obese assessed their weight to be lighter than it was.
  • Three-quarters of parents of overweight or obese children incorrectly judged the weight of their children to be 'about right'.
  • Just 1 in 6 adults were able to correctly identify the recommended daily maximum number of units of alcohol for their sex.
  • The majority of adults did not know that the government advise a certain number of alcohol-free days each week.

Method

Between 2008 and 2011, we added questions these areas to the Scottish Health Survey.  All adults and up to 2 children at selected households were eligible to be interviewed for the Scottish Health Survey and then one adult in each participating household was selected at random to answer the specialist module.

Read the report