Britons have lost touch with what being healthy really means

It’s not how you look, but what’s inside

Glossy hair, glowing skin and a slim physique might be the outward characteristics of a healthy person, but new research released today indicates that thanks to our acceptance of fast fix beauty and “twiglet” celebrities many of us have lost touch with what being healthy really means.

The new research from Nuffield Health (Fitness & Wellbeing) to launch its new ‘Health Score’ explored what people perceive as “looking healthy” versus the reality of a person’s actual physical health.

Over 2,500 people were asked to identify who they felt was the healthiest person from two images – one slim woman and an average looking guy who had both undertaken Nuffield Health’s unique Health Score analysis which combines six different healthy indicators to generate a robust composite measure of true health. Nearly two thirds (62%) of those who expressed an opinion wrongly selected the woman whose Health Score was lower, citing reasons such as body shape (48%) and toned body (10%).

When asked what they perceived truly healthy to be, 60% of those who an express an opinion stated that glowing skin and a healthy head of hair were key visual attributes, further suggesting that Brits’ have a superficial sense of what true health is. It appears engrained in our culture that slim and beautiful equals healthy.

Dr Andy Jones, Group Medical Director for Nuffield Health, comments: “We have bought into the perception that beautiful equals healthy. The beauty industry has developed some wonderful products that enable people to spray on a healthy look. Glossy hair and a dewy complexion are available in every high street chemist, enabling many of us to cheat our way to apparent vitality but good looking doesn’t always equate to good health.

“In fact, many of the most important indicators of health have no outwards signs and so to find out more about true health you need to find out what’s going on inside. This is the reason why we provide our members the opportunity to complete a Health MOT which assesses many important health indicators and gives them an easily understood Health Score to track as they improve.

“Almost half of our 60,000 plus members who have had a Health MOT have results that indicate an increased risk of disease which they are now working to reduce. We feel that this shows that people should not take their health for granted and should take steps to find out more about their true health,” added Andy.

The new findings were released to launch the new ‘Health Score’, created by Nuffield Health (Fitness & Wellbeing), using the results to help individuals assess their true inner health.


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