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TV top source of health updates in Bahrain

Manama, May 13, 2014

Television is the main source of health information for the majority of people in Bahrain with the Internet coming a close second, according to a new survey.

Results from The Health and Fitness Awareness Study, which were released by the Health Ministry yesterday (May 12), also reveal that almost half the people questioned never visit their doctor for a general medical check-up and 38 per cent never go to their dentist, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

The figures come from an online survey conducted between January and April by US-based research company Zarca Interactive, which questioned 501 Bahrain residents aged 16 to 55 on their health and fitness habits.

Respondents were of varying nationalities and aged between 16 and 55 with 39 per cent male and 61 per cent female.

Of those questioned, 54 per cent said they had been involved in a diabetes campaign in the first three months of the year and 51 per cent said they had taken part in a campaign on obesity.

Despite this, 44 per cent said they exercise between one and three times a week and a whopping 87 per cent also claimed not to smoke.

Health Ministry health promotion director Dr Amal Al Jowder said the results showed that residents of Bahrain were becoming more health conscious.

"We have seen that in this survey the awareness level to lead a healthy lifestyle has increased in Bahrain," he said at a Press conference held at the Bahrain Medical Society in Juffair yesterday.

"Many respondents were non-smokers, engaged in physical activity and participated in different health campaigns by the Health Ministry."

While Dr Al Jowder admitted that obesity was still "a big challenge" for the ministry, he remained confident that Bahrain residents were getting the exercise they needed.

"The World Health Organisation recommends about 150 minutes per week for individuals to carry out physical activity, and people in Bahrain are actively taking part in fitness programmes and achieving these minutes," he said.

The Health Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Zarca Interactive in 2012 to evaluate behaviour and lifestyle, as well as train ministry staff on electronic research.

Zarca executive director and Middle East and Africa region head Javed Farooqui said the survey revealed an increasing trend towards healthy living among Bahrain residents.

"There is a direct correlation between health, fitness and happiness," he said. "As the report shows, Bahrain residents are becoming more health conscious and this will have a positive impact on the country's ranking in the global happiness index."

Farooqui added that the company had conducted periodic studies in Bahrain since 2009 and planned to carry out more surveys across the GCC. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: television | doctors | Health Information |

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