NEWS

Not quite the EU’s top specimens

Greeks are the European Union’s self-admitted kings of unhealthy living, being the heaviest smokers as well as the most stressed out and the least sporty nation in the 15-member bloc, according to data published yesterday. At the same time, the country has the lowest rate of cancer incidence and the highest number of doctors per capita, the report from Eurostat, the Luxembourg-based statistical service of the EU, said. The survey found that 64 percent of Greeks feel they lead a healthy lifestyle, the lowest figure in the EU. This is confirmed by the fact that only 19 percent of the population take exercise at least twice a week, 45 percent smoke and 22 percent drink alcohol regularly. A further 72 percent feel stressed. Out of those Greeks who said they took twice-weekly exercise, a large percentage went on to describe their form of exercise as gardening or walking. Only 5 percent said they swam, and 3 percent put themselves down as cyclists. Meanwhile, at 278.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Greece had the lowest cancer rate in the EU, but also the third-highest incidence of diabetes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the lifestyle of most people, Greece had the highest number of physicians per 100,000 inhabitants (438), and the second-lowest number of nurses and midwives (391).