Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eat to live or live to eat?

Aviel Yelinek

The people of Israel love to eat, and to eat a lot. This statement is especially true during the holiday season, when – even if we want to – it is very hard to resist the many temptations spread before us on the holiday table. And why should we resist anyway? After all, the holidays are a time of festivities, and what is more festive than a good meal? Thus, even if we maintain a balanced nutrition throughout most of the year, we’re allowed to go a little crazy during the holidays. In any case we’re planning to go on a diet after the holidays, right?

So, now it’s after the holidays. Some of us are carrying a few extra kilograms. In this context the Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics provides interesting data regarding the weight of Jerusalem residents and their attitude towards dieting.

The ratio of a person’s height to weight (BMI – Body Mass Index) makes it possible to measure whether the person is underweight or of normal weight, or is carrying excess weight, overweight, or obese. The survey shows that during 2010, 51% of the residents of Jerusalem (aged 20 and above) carried excess weight or were overweight or obese. In comparison, this figure was 59% for Haifa residents, 52% for Rishon LeZion residents, 50% for Israel’s residents, and 37% for Tel Aviv residents.

It is interesting to note that Jerusalemites were satisfied with their weight in comparison to the residents of other major cities. When asked whether they would like to lose weight, the percentage of Jerusalemites who responded affirmatively was 41%. In comparison, this figure was 52% for Tel Aviv residents, 54% for Israel 59% for Haifa, and 60% for Rishon LeZion.

Among the residents of Jerusalem and Haifa who responded that they would like to lose weight or maintain their current weight, 22% indicated that are dieting. The percentage of dieters among residents of Israel and Tel Aviv was 24%, and among Rishon LeZion residents this figure was 38%. The survey also revealed that among Israel’s residents who reported that they are dieting, 27% received their basic guidelines from a dietician, 18% from family or acquaintances, 15% from books, the internet, or professional material, and 10% from a physician.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bye Bye Baby

Michal Korach

In 2009 there were 161,400 births in Israel, with a total of 164,400 children born. Two percent of the births were of twins. During this year, the average age of mothers giving birth for the first time was 27.0, compared to 25.5 in 1997. The average age of mothers giving birth for the first time among Israel’s Jewish population (27.9) is comparable to that of the Christian population (27.5) and higher than the figure for the Muslim population (23.4).

The highest numbers of births in Israel in 2009 were recorded at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva (13,200), Shaare Zedek in Jerusalem (13,100), Sourasky in Tel Aviv (10,900), and Sheba/Tel Hashomer near Kiryat Ono (10,500).

An examination of the birthrate (the number of births in relation to the size of the population) indicates that the highest birthrate was recorded in Judea and Samaria (37 births per 1,000 residents – within the Jewish population only), followed by the Jerusalem District (29) and the Southern District (23). Haifa recorded the lowest rate (17). The three other districts – Central, Tel Aviv, and Northern – recorded a birthrate of 20 births per 1,000 residents.

Jerusalem serves as a national medical center for the country in general and for Jerusalem and adjacent communities in particular. The city has seven hospitals with maternity departments, three of which are located in Arab neighborhoods and serve the Arab population – The Red Crescent, Al Makassed, and Dajani Maternity Hospital.

The highest number of births within Jerusalem’s hospitals was recorded at Shaare Zedek Hospital (13,100 – representing 36% of all births in Jerusalem’s hospitals), which was more than double the number of births at the next-ranked hospitals, Hadassah Ein Kerem (5,800 – representing 16%) and Bikur Holim (5,200 – representing 14%). For several years now the number of births at Shaare Zedek Hospital has been at least double the figure for each of the following hospitals: Hadassah Ein Kerem, Bikur Holim, and Hadassah Mount Scopus.