2019-12-11Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/6225
Educational differences in the prevalence of behavioural risk factors in Germany and the EU – Results from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) 2
This article examines educational differences in the prevalence of behavioural risk factors among adults and compares the results for Germany with the average from the European Union (EU). Data were derived from the second wave of the European Health Interview Survey, which took place between 2013 and 2015 (EHIS 2). Analyses were conducted using a regression-based calculation of relative and absolute educational differences in the prevalence of behavioural risk factors, based on self-reported data from women and men aged between 25 and 69 (n=217,215). Current smoking, obesity, physical activity lasting less than 150 minutes per week, heavy episodic drinking and non-daily fruit or vegetable intake are more prevalent among people with a low education level than those with a high education level. This applies to Germany as well as the EU average. Overall, the relative educational differences identified for these risk factors place Germany in the mid-range compared to the EU average. However, relative educational differences in current smoking and heavy episodic drinking are more manifest among women in Germany than the EU average, with the same applying to low physical activity among men. In contrast, relative educational differences in non-daily fruit or vegetable intake are less pronounced among women and men in Germany than the average across the EU. Increased efforts are needed in various policy fields to improve the structural conditions underlying health behaviour, particularly for socially disadvantaged groups, and increase health equity.
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