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Indians healthiest in the world

September 21, 2007 19:34 IST

Indians are the healthiest in the world, a new survey has revealed.

An online survey conducted in 47 countries by AC Nielsen says 22 per cent of Indians, the largest from a country, have not suffered any of the 14 commonly occurring ailments like headache, cold and an upset stomach for a period of one month.

The data does not mean that Indians are totally fit, as 36 per cent of them suffer from headache, the most common ailment. Cold and upset stomach came second and third respectively with 27 per cent and 25 per cent respondents saying they suffered from it during the one month period.

"Changing lifestyles and hectic work schedule leads to irregular eating patterns and this might be a reason for increasing indigestion amongst Indians," said Seetha Sethuraman, associate director of Nielsen Company.

The statistics were arrived at by a global online poll conducted in which 26,486 people from 47 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East participated in April this year.

Neilsen has not provided the specific number of votes polled by Indians.

Cough, back problems, sore throat, insomnia, toothache and heartburn were amongst other common ailments that Indians suffer from, the survey said.

It also said: "Thirty seven per cent of respondents in India use medicine readily available at home while 34 per cent visit a doctor."

Home remedies continue to remain a hit with Indians even now with 29 per cent of them relying on them.

Others purchased prescribed (22 per cent) and non-prescribed (17 per cent) medicines from the chemist to treat their illness. However, 12 per cent respondents were more likely to grin and bear the illness.

Seventy-three per cent of Indians purchasing a non-prescription medicine said they bought a 'tried and tested' product that they always purchased in similar situations in the past, the survey claimed.

Fifty-five went by the judgment of the pharmacist and 22 per cent said they followed what their friends prescribe for the ailment, it said.

The survey said advertising has a lesser impact (15 per cent) compared to the amount of advertising that is done for these products in the country.

"Advertising is seen as a paid promotion and Indians do not believe in taking a chance with their health when it comes to taking medicines. They are more conventional in treating their illness and word of mouth publicity is the most acceptable way for an Indian to try new drugs," Sethuraman said.

Globally, headache is the most common complaint around the world with 42 per cent of respondents suffering from it.
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