Norwegian women not only are drinking more alcohol, they’ve become slower to stop smoking, have put on weight and are more likely to suffer anxiety and depression. Men are also gaining on women in terms of longevity, according to more conclusions in the Norwegian Public Health Institute’s recent health report.
The report, which noted that Norwegians in general are drinking alcoholic beverages more regularly than they did 20 years ago, and in greater quantities, also has shown that women’s lifestyles are more similar to men’s now, for better or worse.
Women traditionally have lived longer than men on average and they still do, with life expectancy for women in Norway now set at 83.6 years and for men at 79.9 years. But men are closing the gap, and health officials think it has to do with the demands placed on women in the workplace and still at home. “It’s well-known that many women are working constantly and there’s also huge pressure to be successful,” Karita Bekkemellem, a former Labour Party politician who now heads the local trade association for the pharmaceutical industry, told newspaper Dagsavisen. “What we’re seeing now is the effect of the pressure.”
More than 7,000 women died of heart and lung ailments last year, compared to 5,975 men, according to the report. More are also overweight, but Norwegians in general have put on weight in recent years. One in five is now considered overweight, as are one in six children.
Even though Norwegians are known for being active skiers and outdoors-oriented, studies found that only 30 percent of the adult population met state recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Adults spend as many as nine hours a day sitting still.