Friday 17 November 2017

Level of education linked to obesity and smoking

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

STRONG links between obesity, smoking and levels of education are highlighted in the OECD survey.

Just as education is associated with issues such as employment and earnings, it also has a relationship with health outcomes.

The higher the educational qualification a person has, the less likely they are either to smoke or be overweight. But, according to the figures, Ireland does better than the OECD average on these two fronts.

While 19pc of 25-64 year olds in 24 OECD countries are obese and the EU average is 17pc, the figure for Ireland is 16pc.

Within Ireland, 21pc of 25-64 year olds who don't have a Leaving Cert are obese, compared with 13pc of those who have a third-level qualification. However, the rates are lower in Ireland than in about 30 other OECD countries covered in this aspect of the report.

Across the OECD, an average 25pc of adults who didn't complete school are obese, compared with 14pc of those who have a degree.

When it comes to smoking, an Irish 25-64 year old with a third-level qualification is 16pc less likely to be a smoker than an early school leaver.

Overall, 23pc of Irish 25-64 year olds are smokers, compared with 30pc of those who have their Leaving Cert and 38pc of those who left school early.

The 30pc figure for those who have their Leaving Cert is lower than the international average of 33pc.

Irish Independent

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