Press Release

How healthy are Irish people? New Healthy Ireland survey will find out

The Department of Health and Healthy Ireland have launched a major nationwide survey to find out: just how healthy are Irish people?

More than 10,000 households have been randomly selected for the nationwide survey which is designed to provide vital data on the state of the nation’s health.  It will start in the coming weeks and results should be available as early as April or May 2015.

The Healthy Ireland survey will provide a snapshot of key indicators which influence our health, right across the population. These include:
·    Nutrition;
·    Alcohol consumption;
·    Smoking;
·    Level of physical activity;
·    weight management;
·    wellbeing.

“If we’re going to help people to stay healthy, we need to have an idea of how healthy they are. So this new survey will be really useful in making sure that the right policies are in place. It will also tell us what areas we need to focus on in future”, said the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar.

“The Healthy Ireland initiative was set up to improve the nation’s physical and mental health. We haven’t had a comprehensive survey since 2007, and there have been huge changes since then. On the one hand, more people are more aware of the importance of diet, lifestyle, health, wellbeing and mental fitness. But as a nation, we now face even bigger challenges on obesity, stress, diet and many other areas. So there’s a big job ahead of us.”

“This new survey will give us a really up-to-date picture of the nation’s health, and will provide vital data. The results will give us a baseline set of data telling us how healthy or unhealthy Ireland is. We can then use future surveys to assess whether or not our policies are working. It’s entirely voluntary, so I want to thank in advance any people who agree to take part, as their participation is of enormous value.”

Kate O’Flaherty, the Director of the Health & Wellbeing Programme in the Department of Health, said: “The interviews with people in the selected households will commence in the coming weeks and continue until April 2015. Those households selected will receive letters inviting them to take part in the Survey. I would like to assure people that the data collected will remain confidential at all times.”

The last similar survey was SLAN 2007 conducted more than seven years ago, so there is a huge need for more up to date information.

This new survey is being conducted by Ipsos MRBI for Healthy Ireland, the cross-Government initiative designed to put people in charge of their own health.