Many Australians are more concerned by body image than general wellbeing, according to recent research carried out by Medibank.
The Medibank Health Check quarterly report asked some 1,500 people about their self perceptions, and gathered some surprising results.
The vast majority of the sampled Australians claimed that being slim, looking young and appearing attractive are all more important to them than general healthy living – including being active and consuming a balanced diet.
Pressure to look good
Seventy-six per cent of those surveyed believe that there is more pressure on them to look good than there is to be healthy. The issues are only compounded in young people. The study finds that a little under half (48 per cent) of the 18-to-24 year olds in the survey worry more about their body shape more than their health.
Medibank's General Practitioner Dr Ian Boyd helped better explain the survey's findings.
"Generally the results of Medibank Health Check #4 were pleasing, the younger respondents tended to be more focused on body image than on overall health, which was concerning," he said in a statement published by Healthdirect Australia.
The study also highlights that those from the sample who are in their late 20s or older are likely to be more realistic in how they asses their body image.
"Thirty-seven per cent of 25-34 year olds believe an attractive body shape means you are in good health. This compares to only 14 per cent of people over 65," Dr Boyd went on to add.
While there can be little denying that the results of the research are a mixed bag, the report claims that the vast majority of Australians are well aware that health is not only skin deep.
No disparity between genders
Furthermore, the results were roughly the same regarding gender and income, further evidencing the fact that wellbeing is more of a state of mind in each individual case, rather than accounting for any extenuating circumstances.
The research makes it clear that many Australians think their health and wellbeing is directly related to the way they look. Of course, this is not necessarily the case and educating the wider population – particularly the younger generations – to this fact will be a priority for the applicable government health services.
Working hard to be healthy and having a positive sense of wellbeing can be a long process, and protecting those interests can be key. Private health insurance can provide the peace of mind that if you are afflicted by illness, access to the best possible treatment can be made available – away from the public system.
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