A little more than half of Quebecers have a favorable perception of health, reveals a report released Tuesday by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, even if the data show that they are fatter and less active than ever.
59% of men and 55% of women consider themselves to be in good health, a proportion that has remained stable since 2008. The proportion of young people aged 15 to 24 who have a positive perception of their health rose from 61% in 2008, 66% in 2014-2015, 71% in 2020-2021.
However, the proportion of working people is declining. The percentage of active men thus slipped to 35% in 2020-2021, after having reached 41% in 2014-2015. Among women, these figures are 33% and 36%, respectively.
At the same time, the proportion of sedentary people increased from 32% in 2014-2015 to 37% in 2020-2021. Today, 37% of women and 38% of men are considered sedentary, compared to 33% and 31% during the last survey.
The trend is even more marked among 15-24 year olds and 25-44 year olds. The proportion of sedentary people jumped from 24.8% to 37.9% between 2014-2015 and 2020-2021 in the first age group, and from 31% to 37.7% in the second.
A third of the Quebec population is overweight and a quarter is obese. The proportion of obese men and women increased to 23% in 2020-2021, after being respectively 17% and 15% in 2008. Despite all this, about half of the population say they are satisfied with their weight.
The news isn’t much better on the mental health front. There is thus a very slight increase in the proportion of Quebecers who have had suicidal thoughts over the past 12 months, without attempting to end their lives.
More than one in ten people also have symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. About four out of ten Quebecers are at the high level of the psychological distress scale, compared to 32% in 2014-2015.
Quebecers are also less and less satisfied with their social life, at a time when studies are increasingly showing the health dangers that loneliness can represent.
The main good news in the report concerns the use of cigarettes: the proportion of the population who smoke cigarettes has fallen from 24% in 2008, to 19% in 2014-2015, then to 15% in 2020-2021.