Family support more influential than public health campaigns and celebrity diets when trying to kick bad habits and lead a healthier lifestyle
CHALFONT ST. GILES, England-June 27, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE/ME NewsWire)-- New research commissioned by GE Healthcare, undertaken by TNS in eight countries1 last month, has revealed that adults are unaware of the link between bad habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or physical inactivity and breast cancer.
While respondents to the survey were well aware of the relationship between bad habits and the possible risk of developing lung, liver and colon cancer, the awareness of the link to breast cancer was comparatively low: between 28% (in Germany) and 60% (in China) (see chart 1).
The survey revealed that the main reason people find it tough to break bad habits was addiction. However, the second most cited reason by respondents was a lack of information and knowledge, suggesting that while public awareness campaigns for lung, liver and colon cancer do a good job of informing the general public about the risks of bad habits, more work could be done to highlight the link to breast cancer.
When respondents were asked about their personal monitoring routines and how often people should check their bodies for unusual bumps and growths some startling disparities appeared (see chart two).
• 33% of British, 42% of Americans and alarmingly 93% of Japanese and 86% of Chinese respondents said they do not check their body at least one a month
• In other countries, the percentage of people not checking themselves once a month hovered between 50% and 80%
• Unsurprisingly, women are more conscientious than men at checking their bodies each month
The survey also revealed that families are the most important source of influence, motivation and inspiration for those wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle. At least 70% of respondents in each country said that they would look to their family for support.
Doctors and other medical professionals are another main source of advice and influence for those surveyed and were cited as the second most influential group. However, while French respondents are most likely to heed advice from their healthcare professionals over their family, Chinese respondents were less likely to value the advice of healthcare professionals.
Faring much worse in the survey were both government health campaigns and celebrities promoting a certain lifestyle or diet. With the exception of Brazil and Turkey, celebrities had minimal influence in those countries looking for advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.