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Report reveals impact of ethnicity on health behaviours

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Report reveals impact of ethnicity on health behaviours

A report published by NHS Digital has highlighted the lifestyle choices of people from different ethnicities in England and the impact those behaviours have had on their health over a nine-year period.

The Health Survey for England study, which looked at factors such as long-term conditions, mental wellbeing, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption among 73,947 adults between 2011 and 2019, found behaviours varied with ethnic background.

People from white backgrounds were most likely to have drunk alcohol in the last 12 months while Pakistani men (9 per cent) and women (2 per cent) and Bangladeshi men (13 per cent) and women (8 per cent) were least likely. White Irish men and women were most likely to drink over the recommended level of 14 or more units a week.

Men from black African (9 per cent), Indian (12 per cent) and Chinese (12 per cent) backgrounds were least likely to be regular smokers while women from Indian (2 per cent), Pakistani (3 per cent), Chinese (3 per cent) and black African (4 per cent) backgrounds were least likely to smoke consistently.

Chinese women (22 per cent) and men (36 per cent) were least likely to be overweight or obese while black Caribbean (74 per cent), Pakistani (74 per cent) and black African (73 per cent) women were most likely.

When it came to those most likely to eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, Chinese women (49 per cent) topped the list followed by women (46 per cent) from other white backgrounds, Indian men (41 per cent) and men (39 per cent) from other white backgrounds.

Black Caribbean (45 per cent) and white British men (40 per cent) were most likely to have longstanding health conditions. When it came to women, those from a Pakistani background (49 per cent) were most likely. Chinese women (19 per cent) were least likely.  

On a scale of 14 to 70, Black African men (55.4) and women (55.1) had the highest average mental wellbeing scores.

The study was carried out by the National Centre for Social Research and University College London.  

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