Health behaviours in older people

Health behaviours like:

  • eating healthy food
  • not drinking alcohol or only drinking at low-risk levels
  • doing regular physical activity

help people avoid developing long-term health conditions.

Healthy eating

Percentage of population who meet vegetable and fruit intake guidelines (3+ servings of vegetables and 2+ servings of fruit per day)

Graph showing the percentage of people in different age groups, for different years, who met the fruit and vege intake guidelines. In 2006/07, 43% of people met the guidelines, including 52% of people aged 65–74 and 54% of those aged 75 or over. In 2011/12, 45% of people met the guidelines, including 55% of people aged 65–74 and 50% of those aged 75 or over. In 2012/13, 43% of people met the guidelines, including 51% of people aged 65–74 and 55% of those aged 75 or over. In 2013/14, 42% of people met the guidelines, including 54% of people aged 65–74 and 50% of those aged 75 or over. And in 2014/15, 40% of people met the guidelines, including 52% of people aged 65–74 and 49% of those aged 75 or over.
Source: Ministry of Health, Annual Update of Key Results 2014/15: New Zealand Health Survey

Drinking at low-risk levels

Percentage of population who are hazardous drinkers (AUDIT score ≥8, among total population)

Graph showing the percentage of people in different age groups, for different years, who were hazardous drinkers. In 2006/07, 18% of people were hazardous drinkers, including 7% of people aged 65–74 and 4% of those aged 75 or over. In 2011/12 and 2012/13, 15% of people were hazardous drinkers, including 5% of people aged 65–74 and 2% of those aged 75 or over. In 2013/14, 16% of people were hazardous drinkers, including 6% of people aged 65–74 and 2% of those aged 75 or over. And in 2014/15, 18% of people were hazardous drinkers, including 9% of people aged 65–74 and 3% of those aged 75 or over.
Source: Ministry of Health, Annual Update of Key Results 2014/15: New Zealand Health Survey

Staying active

Percentage of population who are physically active (did at least 30 minutes of exercise on 5 or more days in the past week)

Graph showing the percentage of people in different age groups, for different years, who were physically active. In 2006/07, 52% of people were active, including 50% of people aged 65–74 and 34% of those aged 75 or over. In 2011/12, 54% of people were active, including 51% of people aged 65–74 and 33% of those aged 75 or over. In 2012/13, 52% of people were active, including 48% of people aged 65–74 and 37% of those aged 75 or over. In 2013/14, 52% of people were active, including 52% of people aged 65–74 and 41% of those aged 75 or over. And in 2014/15, 51% of people were active, including 47% of people aged 65–74 and 35% of those aged 75 or over.
Source: Ministry of Health, Annual Update of Key Results 2014/15: New Zealand Health Survey

Feeling connected

Loneliness has a strong relationship with poor mental and physical health outcomes.

Percentage of the population who reported feeling lonely all, most or some of the time during the last 4 weeks, by age group, 2014

Graph showing the percentage of people who reported feeling lonely. It was 14% overall, but varied with age. For 15–24 year olds, it was 17%. For 25–34 year olds, it was 16%. For 35–44 year olds, it was 15%. For 45–54 year olds, it was 14%. For 55–64 year olds, it was 12%. For 65–74 year olds, it was 10%. And for those aged 75 and over, it was 13%.
Source: Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand General Social Survey
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