Whistler tops B.C. health survey for physical wellness — and binge drinking

Nearly half of survey respondents from Whistler report binge drinking more than once a month.

Nearly half of survey respondents from Whistler report binge drinking more than once a month

Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks on one occasion for men, and four or more on one occasion for women. (CBC)

The mountain community of Whistler, B.C., is the least obese in the province, with the highest physical wellness score, but also double the national average of binge drinking, according to a new regional health survey.

The My Health, My Community survey, by Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and UBC found 48 per cent of survey respondents in Whistler report binge drinking once or more per month.

The national average is 24 per cent, and the next highest B.C. community for binge drinking is Squamish, with 33 per cent.

The survey defines binge drinking as having five or more drinks on one occasion for men, and four or more drinks on one occasion for women.

"We found in the survey across Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and coastal regions that binge drinking is higher among younger adults and among males,"said Dr. Victoria Lee of the Fraser Health Authority.

Lee said binge drinking is associated with other health problems, such as increased risk of cardiovascular disease or injuries.

However, Whistler in particular also has the distinction of the lowest obesity rate in the survey, at less than 15 per cent, and the highest "physical wellness score."

Physical wellness was scored according to whether a person:

  • eats five or more servings of fruits or vegetables per day.
  • walks 30 or more minutes per day.
  • gets 150 or more minutes of moderate or physical activity per week.
  • does not smoke.

The community with the lowest physical wellness score is the City of Langley.

With files from Farrah Merali

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