Locals believe imbalanced life main cause of ill health


TAIPEI, Taiwan — A survey on people’s health knowledge shows that an imbalanced life pattern is believed by most respondents to be the top cause of ill health, according to survey results released yesterday.

Common Health Magazine conducted the survey via telephone among people aged 18 or over Aug. 19-24, receiving 1,087 valid responses.

A similar survey carried out 10 years ago by the same magazine showed that most respondents at that time blamed congenital problems for poor health.

The new survey shows that people have made progress in health knowledge, as the smoking population is smaller, down from 21.4 percent of respondents to 17.76 percent, while more people eat breakfast, up from 64 percent to 77 percent.

In addition, 53.7 percent of respondents exercise at least three times a week, up from 39 percent in the previous survey, the results show.

However, nearly half of the respondents said they did not know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and over 30 percent of them were unaware of their waist size, which is an indicator of one’s health condition, according to the report.

Meanwhile, 85.65 percent of respondents said they consider themselves healthy, higher than the previous survey’s 73.9 percent. However, cancer remained the biggest worry for respondents, the same as in the previous survey 10 years ago.

More females than males expressed worry about cancer — 32.41 percent to 22.61 percent — even though recent medical statistics show that the number of men who died of cancer in 2007 was 1.7 times that of the number of women who died of the disease, the report said.

About 40 percent of the male respondents were unable to describe the location of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer ranked the fifth-most-common form of cancer in men, with 900 people dying of the disease every year on average, higher than the number of women who die of cervical cancer each year on average, the report said.