Staying healthy is an increasing concern for most Australians. Some 8.4 million (47%) strongly agree with the statement “I am taking steps now to stay healthy in the future”, an increase of 2.2 million over the past two years.
This includes newspaper readers, with five out of six (84%) spending money on health and medical care in the past two weeks.
One in four (24%) buy pain-killers each month, and half (55%) bought cough, cold or flu tablets in the past year. This works out to 3.9 million readers buying pain killers, and 9 million spending on cold and flu products.
Newspaper media readers tend to favour well-known pharmaceutical brands. For example, they are more likely to buy the major antihistamine brands than non-readers.
Percentage of readers/non-readers who bought in the past year
Regional Australians are more likely to suffer from allergies than their metro counterparts. Consequently regional newspaper readers are more than twice as likely to buy antihistamines each month than the average Australian
Health is wealth
Readers are above-average buyers across a range of pharmaceutical products for preventing illness or health-improvement. Over a four week period, compared with non-readers they are:
The 4.5 million readers of newspaper health and well-being sections are even more likely to buy. Compared with non-section readers they are 16% more likely to buy vitamins or supplements, 25% more likely to buy weight loss products, and 31% more likely to buy quit-smoking products
Sometimes health problems become serious. That’s when having adequate health insurance pays off, ensuring access to quality medical care.
Readers are 19 per cent more likely to have health insurance than non-readers.
The heaviest-spending health insurance customers, the top 20 per cent by value, have the highest levels of newspaper media readership.
Some 93 per cent read newspaper media each month, and while 80 per cent read print, 39 per cent read on digital devices. They have a particularly high-level of readership on mobiles, with 25 per cent reading news media on their mobiles, compared with 20 per cent for the total population.
Newspapers also play a key informational role for health decisions.
Certainly the first sources people turn to for advice on health or pharmaceutical decisions are personal ones, such as chemists (48%), or friends, family, and colleagues (41%).
After that they look to media including newspapers, with one in eight (13%) saying they consider newspaper media useful when making decisions about health or pharmaceutical purchases.
Source: emma,12 months to December 2015. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+, Nielsen Online Ratings, December 2015, people 14+ only.