Binge drinking most prevalent among youths aged 18 to 29: National Population Health Survey

The survey also found daily smoking the least prevalent among youths.

Farhana Subuhan

Published: 21 December 2022, 6:01 PM

Binge drinking among youths aged 18 to 29 years is more prevalent as compared to other age groups, the latest National Population Health Survey (NPHS) has found.

But youths also did more regular exercise and smoked the least, the survey, released on Tuesday (Dec 20), revealed. The latest NPHS, done by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), was conducted among Singapore residents aged between 18 to 74 years in 2021.

The survey added that more males (20.4 per cent) than females (10.7 per cent) among Singapore residents.

Binge drinking was defined as the consumption of at least five alcoholic drinks for males, and at least four for females, in a single drinking session in the month preceding the survey.

In terms of smoking, youths (8.3 per cent) did so the least among Singapore residents. However, among Singapore residents who smoke daily, the mean age they started doing so was  at 17 years old, and turned it into a habit at 19 years old.

The survey did not include vaping, which is illegal in Singapore.

Youths also exercised the most. In total, about one in three Singaporean residents engaged in regular exercise during their leisure time.

The survey also revealed a general decline in the prevalence of regular exercise with increasing age. A steady significant decrease in the proportion of residents with sufficient total physical activity was noted from 2019 to 2021, attributing it to hybrid working arrangements and the restrictions on recreational facilities over the last two years.

The highest level of sufficient total physical activity was also recorded among those aged 18 to 29 years (76.3 per cent).

While the proportion of residents who were willing to seek help from healthcare professionals due to stress increased significantly from 47.8 per cent in 2019 to 58.3 per cent in 2021, the proportion of residents who were willing to seek help from informal networks declined between 2019 (74.5 per cent) and 2021 (69.1 per cent).

The survey also revealed that the willingness to seek help from informal support networks decreased with age as it was the highest among younger adults aged 18 and 29 (84.3 per cent) and the lowest among older adults aged 60 to 74 years (50.3 per cent) in 2021.

HPB said that the NPHS is conducted annually to provide regular information on related risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity from a representative sample of the resident population.

The findings from the NPHS 2021 can be viewed here.

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