24th October, 2017. Launch of Results of Wave 3 of the Healthy Ireland Survey in The Department of Foreign Affairs, The Ballroom, Iveagh House, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
Pictured from left: Kieran O’Leary (IPSOS MRBI), Minister Catherine Byrne and Kate O’Flaherty (Director of Health and Wellbeing Programme, Dept. Of Health).

Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne, today launched the report of the third annual Healthy Ireland Survey.

The Survey of 7,500 people aged 15 and over living in Ireland gives an up-to-date picture of the health of the nation and reports on many lifestyle behaviours, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, and sexual health. The 2017 Survey also looked at public attitudes and understanding on topics such as breastfeeding and antibiotic use.

Also in this report, data from three waves have been combined to look at health behaviours among young people aged 15 to 24 years.

Some key findings in this year’s Survey include:

• 22% of the population are current smokers – a drop from 23% last year

• 39% are overweight and 23% are obese

• 19% of drinkers indicate that during the past 12 months they have had feelings of guilt or remorse after drinking

• 35% of all ages eat at least one unhealthy food (sweets, cakes and biscuits, salted snacks, pastries, fried foods) every day

• One in six people (16%) drink sugar sweetened drinks on a daily basis

• 21% have had a HIV test and 22% a STI test during their lifetime

• Nearly half (49%) of those with children said one of their children was breast fed

• Breastfeeding differs by education: three quarters (74%) with a third level degree compared to a third (34%) of those who left school before Leaving Cert said one of their children was breast fed

• 39% were prescribed antibiotics in the previous 12 months

• 68% correctly agree that antibiotics can kill bacteria; however 49% think antibiotics kill viruses

• Using data on 15 to 24 year olds from three survey waves:

• 19% are smokers
• 53% binge drink
• 30% are overweight

Some other important findings include:

• 84% of people living in Ireland say their health is very good or good although 30% indicate that they have a long-standing illness or health condition

• 18% mainly use an active form of travel on their usual journey to work or education, with 31% using this form of travel at least occasionally; however almost two-thirds (65%) travelling to work or education mainly travel by car

• 8% have made a change in mode of travel in past two years, with half of those now walking or cycling at least occasionally

• 39% of drinkers indicate that they drink six or more standard drinks (“binge drinking”) on a typical drinking occasion

• 73% eat fewer than five portions of fruit and vegetables daily

• In the previous year, 12% of young adults (under 35) and 12% of men who have sex with men have had a HIV or STI test

• 15% have visited an emergency department in the past 12 months, rising to 22% of those aged 75 and older

• 1% of those not prescribed an antibiotic in the past 12 months have consumed one

Healthy Ireland Survey Wave 3 Report

Department of Health Press Release HI Survey Wave 3 Launch

24th October, 2017.Launch of Results of Wave 3 of the Healthy Ireland Survey in The Department of Foreign Affairs, The Ballroom, Iveagh House, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Pictured is Minister Catherine Byrne.