Saga questioned 12,339 people over the age of 50 and found that 22% would not tell their GP if asked, the whole truth about how much alcohol they drink and 17% would tell white lies about their diet.
Women are more misleading than men and more likely to lie about five out of six key health influencers including smoking, weight, exercise, diet and stress levels. Men are more likely to play down the amount of alcohol they drink.
Saga asked the over 50s how truthful they would be with their GP about various health aspects.
A quarter of men and one in five women would not be completely truthful with their GP about the amount of alcohol they drink
One in five women and 15% of men will avoid the truth about their diet
18 % of women and 15 % of men will not admit exactly how much exercise they do
Twice as many women as men (12% and 6%) will lie about their weight to a doctor - even when they are standing face to face with them
More women than men (16% and 12%) will try to put a brave face on the amount of stress they are under
5% of men and 6% of women will lie to their GP about the extent of their nicotine habit.
Ros Altmann at Saga comments, "It seems a shame that people are not comfortable being honest about health and lifestyle issues. Even with their GP. The fantastic medical advances of recent years should enable the over 50s to stay fit and healthy."
In order to encourage people to get a true picture of their own health, Saga has launched a free online Health Club, which includes an assessment of their health and how their current lifestyle influences it. A personal action plan created for them helps users set achievable targets and goals and review their progress towards getting healthier in manageable steps.
Private medical insurance news: 14 December 2010