POSTED: March 17 2016
Britain’s Low Body IQ

Britain’s Low Body IQ

Britons urgently need to brush up on their biology as a study highlights the worrying number of people who confess to not having a basic understanding about how some of their most vital organs work, or the best food and drink we should be feeding our bodies. Commissioned by Bupa UK, which has launched a new range of health assessments designed to help people engage with their health, the study revealed that nearly two-thirds (63%) of Brits don’t know the main functions of their kidneys; over three-quarters (79%) don’t know the main functions of their liver; whilst over two-thirds (44%) don’t know the main functions of their lungs, not realising that they help rid the body of carbon-dioxide.

This worryingly low body IQ extends to not understanding the best types of food needed to fuel our bodies. Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents don’t know that milk and dairy products are good sources of calcium, and over half of the nation (52%) confess to being clueless about which food groups provide the best nutrients for their vital organs.

When it comes to knowing how different organs impact and affect our health, the study of 2,000 respondents highlighted some factors that might explain this current lack of body intelligence. Even when people are looking for help or advice with a personal health issue or concern, only 3 in 10 of us (32%) will typically turn to a doctor in the first instance and nearly one-fifth of the nation (18%) will first turn to their partner. This dependence on advice from friends and family could be due to the fact that an alarming 47% of people struggle to understand medical language and terminology.

The study was commissioned by Bupa UK to highlight its new health assessments that are designed to help people engage with and improve their health. Bupa UK’s range of health assessments help give people a detailed picture of where their health is at currently, with guidance on how to move it in the right direction for the future.

Commenting on the research findings, Dr. Lizzie Tuckey, Medical Director, Bupa UK said:

“The beginning of the year is typically when people focus on improving their personal health. But these results show that before attempting to improve our wellbeing, we first need to improve our basic understanding about how our body works and the food we need to fuel it.

“Our busy working lives and not getting enough expert health advice from the correct sources is clearly contributing to this low ‘Body IQ’.

“A basic handle of biology is crucial, but equally important is an understanding of our own bodies and what we each need to do to look after ourselves properly. Having advice and treatment that is tailored specifically to us helps address this. Our range of new health assessments provide the expertise people need to assess their own bodies and make healthy lifestyle changes. An individual, tailored approach is key to helping people achieve healthier, happier lifestyles.”

As part of the new health assessments Bupa UK’s trained team gives personalised, practical lifestyle advice to help prevent future health issues and this includes ongoing support. These new health assessments are the latest new product developed to help address changing healthcare needs and demands of people across the UK.

Brits are clearly trying to make efforts to improve their knowledge but they often find it’s hard to get the right guidance. Nearly half (47%) confessed they avoid celebrity health regimes because they’re too difficult to follow and over one-fifth (21%) of Brits admitted that, despite their popularity, they typically struggle to understand how personal health apps and digital fitness monitors work.

The good news is that people do want to change. 86% of the study’s respondents admit that they could brush up on their anatomy knowledge and 63% would commit to a health and wellbeing regime if it were tailored for them.

Other notable findings from the research were:

Exactly one-third (33%) of respondents said they use websites and blogs when looking for tips and advice on improving their health and wellbeing
Over four-fifths (87%) of people don’t know the main functions of their pancreas

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