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Cost factor makes Indians more health conscious: Study

Indians seem to be increasingly becoming health conscious these days thanks to their concerns over financial implications of falling ill, a new study has claimed.

About 48 per cent of Indians are concerned about their health as they feel falling ill would result in unnecessary expenditure, while 41 per cent of people fear for the future repercussions of having poor health today, a consumer survey by Nielsen Health & Wellness found.

The survey of 3,248 people, aged 18-55 years, also found that over half of them consider themselves overweight, but only 23 per cent have occasionally gone for dieting.

Surprisingly, only 17 per cent of respondents said they were aware of the health indicator BMI (Body Mass Index).

For nearly five in ten people surveyed, pollution was a major factor affecting their health, while 38 per cent believe bad food habit such as eating junk food has an adverse affect on health.

About 36 per cent of respondents however said smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise were the major factors that contribute to their poor health, according to the survey, which was carried out in 10 major cities of the country.

It showed a split in attitudes of Indians towards health with 53 per cent showing pro-activeness and a slightly lesser 47 per cent being passive about their health.

"The increasingly hectic lifestyle of Indians is taking a toll on their health, plus the cost of treating an illness has pushed Indians to take proactive steps to maintain their health," said Arti Verma, Associate Director, Client Solutions, The Nielsen Company.

"Since time is a not a luxury for most Indians today they try to maintain health by controlling food habits," she added.

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