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"Healthy" Swiss have weight and exercise issues

Most Swiss believe they are healthy, although a third are overweight and around 60 per cent don’t exercise enough

A Federal Statistics Office survey of Swiss health habits published on Tuesday found 87 per cent of the population considered themselves to be in good or very good health. The survey, carried out in 2007, is done every five years.

Of the 37 per cent of the population who are overweight, eight per cent are obese. Most affected are men, of whom nearly half (46 per cent) are overweight compared with 29 per cent of women. The figures were slightly higher than in 2002 and have continued to rise since 1992.

Since the previous survey in 2002, the number of people who are physically active has grown from 36 to 41 per cent.

Depression affects five per cent of the population, which is average for Europe, and is experienced by men and women from a variety of ages and backgrounds.

According to the survey, a quarter of males aged 15 to 24 get drunk at least once a month, well above the eight per cent average for the entire population. While the drinking habits of six per cent of men and five per cent of women is putting their health at risk, 65 per cent of the population drink sensibly and 17 per cent are teetotallers.

When it comes to pain, a large number experience physical problems such as back pain, general weakness, headaches, insomnia or pain in their limbs for around one month in a year. Age is a clear contributing factor and after the age of 40 suffering becomes more frequent.

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