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‘Cost factor makes Indians more health conscious’

Indians have become health conscious these days due to their financial concerns.

Updated: Jun 16, 2010, 20:14 PM IST

New Delhi: Indians seem to be increasingly
becoming health conscious these days thanks to their concerns
over financial implications of falling ill, a new study has
claimed.

About 48 per cent of Indians are concerned about their
health as they feel falling ill would result in unnecessary
expenditure, while 41 per cent of people fear for the future
repercussions of having poor health today, a consumer survey
by Nielsen Health & Wellness found.

The survey of 3,248 people, aged 18-55 years, also found
that over half of them consider themselves overweight, but
only 23 per cent have occasionally gone for dieting.

Surprisingly, only 17 per cent of respondents said they
were aware of the health indicator BMI (Body Mass Index).
For nearly five in ten people surveyed, pollution was a
major factor affecting their health, while 38 per cent believe
bad food habit such as eating junk food has an adverse affect
on health.

About 36 per cent of respondents however said smoking,
alcohol consumption and lack of exercise were the major
factors that contribute to their poor health, according to the
survey, which was carried out in 10 major cities of the
country.

It showed a split in attitudes of Indians towards health
with 53 per cent showing pro-activeness and a slightly lesser
47 per cent being passive about their health.

"The increasingly hectic lifestyle of Indians is taking a
toll on their health, plus the cost of treating an illness has
pushed Indians to take proactive steps to maintain their
health," said Arti Verma, Associate Director, Client
Solutions, The Nielsen Company.

"Since time is a not a luxury for most Indians today they
try to maintain health by controlling food habits," she added.

PTI