Obese Swiss People Think They are in Best of Health

by Rajashri on Sep 13 2008 4:12 PM

New data shows that nine out of ten people in Switzerland say they feel on top form even as obesity is on the rise.

"The majority of the Swiss population thinks it is in good health. 87 percent of people asked said they felt in good or very good health," the Federal Statistics Office said in a statement after a survey of some 19,000 citizens.

But appearances can be (self)-deceptive, as the survey in fact found that more and more Swiss people drink, smoke and are overweight.

Just under a third of all people surveyed were smokers (28 percent), with the percentage rising for both young men and women aged 15-24 -- 37 percent and 31 percent respectively.

When it comes to alcohol, 38 percent of all men and 29 percent of women described themselves as "occasional drinkers" who had a glass one or two times a week.

And just like the rest of Europe, the number of overweight people has been on the rise, with more than half (52 percent) of people in the 65-74 age group having a body mass index of more than 25 kilograms/square metres (55 pounds).

One silver lining though is a decline in passive smoking after various cantons such as Geneva and Ticino introduced bans on smoking in public places. So if nothing else, the Swiss mountain air will be a little bit clearer after all.