FIT-ing In? Most Canadians Say They Have A Healthy Lifestyle – RBC Insurance Poll Finds

Yet one-third regularly eats unhealthy fast foods or snacks

TORONTO, January 27, 2009 — Most (85 per cent) adult Canadians believe they have a healthy lifestyle, but 30 per cent regularly eat unhealthy food such as fast foods or snack foods and one-third (34 per cent) want to go on a diet, according to an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey.

“There’s a difference between what we say and what we do,” said Dr. Robert Snihura, chief medical director, RBC Life Insurance Company. “Failure to break unhealthy habits will only increase the obesity epidemic that’s affecting our society and, increasingly, our children.”

The RBC Insurance poll found that six-in-ten (61 per cent) Canadians want to exercise more regularly and over half (53 per cent) would like to eat more nutritiously. One-in-five Canadians surveyed admit to smoking on a regular basis and, of these, 72 per cent would like to stop or reduce their smoking habits.

The survey also found that Canadian women exhibit healthier habits than men. Forty per cent of men say they drink alcohol regularly compared to just 25 per cent of women, while 34 per cent of men said they regularly eat unhealthy foods with 27 per cent of women doing the same.

Women are also more likely to want to diet, with 38 per cent saying that they intend to go on a diet, compared to 30 per cent of men. “Healthier habits can lead to increased energy, greater self-esteem, a longer lifespan and reduced out-of-pocket health expenses,” Snihura added.

“One of the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle may include lower life and health insurance premiums in addition to reduced health care costs,” said John Young, president and CEO, RBC Life Insurance Company.

Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle? Regional breakdown

BC 85%
Alberta 87%
Sask/Man 83%
Ontario 84%
Quebec 90%
Atlantic Canada 77%

Which changes are you actively planning to make in the next few months?

By region

Region Exercise more regularly Healthier Eating Go on a diet/lose weight
BC 60% 50% 33%
Alberta 55% 50% 31%
Sask/Man 64% 59% 40%
Ontario 63% 54% 35%
Quebec 61% 54% 32%
Atlantic Canada 62% 55% 41%

For information about life, critical illness, and long-term care insurance, visit, or a local RBC Insurance branch, or call

About RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance, through its operating entities, including RBC Life Insurance Company, provides a wide range of life, health, travel, home, auto and reinsurance products as well as creditor and business insurance services to more than five million North American clients. As a leading provider of individual living benefits and life insurance products in Canada, RBC Insurance offers a comprehensive portfolio of individual and group life and health insurance solutions, including term and universal life insurance, group benefits, disability critical illness, and long term care insurance as well as segregated funds. These products are distributed through more than 17,000 independent brokers affiliated with producer groups, financial planning firms and stock brokerage firms, as well as through direct sales and a network of career sales representatives. For more information, please visit

About this survey

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of RBC Insurance from March 27 to April 10, 2008. For this survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 2,251 Canadian adults was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within �2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Canada been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other subgroupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.