Body & Fitness

Wellness Q & A: test yourself and learn some life-saving facts

I'm a huge fan of quizzes - I love Trivial Pursuit and pub quizzes - so I thought this week I'd compile my own, using some of the health and wellbeing facts I've learned while researching my columns in the Weekly. Good luck - if you get 10 or more right, you're doing brilliantly!


  1. How many grams of fibre should an adult consume every day – 10g, 30g or 50g?

  2. To avoid food poisoning, when should you put leftover food in the fridge – while it’s still piping hot, when it has stopped steaming, or once it is completely cool?

  3. Smoking increases the risk of having a heart attack by 35%, 50% or 70%?

  4. Are nutrients from food absorbed into the body through the stomach or small intestine?

  5. Is your thyroid gland shaped like a doughnut, a butterfly or a banana?

  6. Where in your body is the hormone insulin made?

  7. ouscle cramps can mean you’re lacking which two minerals?

  8. Urticaria is another name for what?

  9. Which contains more vitamin C – an orange or a red pepper?

  10. Coeliac disease (an intolerance to gluten) affects around one in every hundred people, but what percentage of them don’t know they have it? Is it 20%, 50% or 80%?

  11. Which is the “good” form of cholesterol – low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or high-density lipoprotein (HDL)?

  12. The human papillomavirus causes which disease?

  13. Your waist measurement can show whether you’ve got an increased risk of developing heart disease. For women, the risk goes up when it gets over how many centimetres?

  14. Is a TIA a blood test to check for liver disease, a protein found in your body, or a type of stroke?

  15. Politician Winston Churchill, author Marian Keyes, ex-All Black John Kirwan and actress Kirsten Dunst have all suffered from which disorder?


  1. Around 30g is the recommended amount, although most people get around 18g to 25g a day.

  2. When it has stopped steaming. Piping hot food can raise the fridge temperature and affect other food, but food left on the bench to cool has a greater risk of developing bacteria. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority advises covering food and leaving it out for no longer than 30 minutes before refrigerating.

  3. It’s 70%. Smoking contributes to clogged arteries and reduces oxygen supply, making clots more likely to form in blood vessels.

  4. The small intestine. Nutrients are absorbed by millions of finger-like projections called villi in the small intestine, which are connected to capillaries. This is how the nutrients get into the blood stream.

  5. A butterfly – it’s made up of two lobes that lie on either side of the windpipe and join in the middle.

  6. The pancreas. It secretes insulin which helps move glucose from the blood to cells for energy.

  7. Zinc and magnesium. Sources of zinc include dairy products, green leafy veges and sardines. Green veges also contain magnesium, as do pumpkin seeds, quinoa and bran.

  8. Hives. Raised, red, itchy bumps are often caused by an allergic reaction.

  9. Half a cup of raw, chopped capsicum contains 95mg of vitamin C, while an orange contains around 70mg.

  10. It’s 80%. Symptoms like diarrhoea and constipation, fatigue, cramping and bloating can be due to a condition like coeliac disease.

  11. It’s HDL. It can carry cholesterol away from the arteries – where it can cause blockages that may lead to heart attacks and strokes – to the liver, where it is processed and excreted from the body.

  12. Cervical cancer. There are over 100 different types of HPV, some of which can lead to changes in the cells of the cervix. These altered cells can become precancerous.

  13. It’s 90cm (100cm for men). The bigger your waist, the greater your chance of having a build-up of dangerous visceral fat which can contribute to heart disease.

  14. A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is a mini stroke. You have the same symptoms as a stroke – such as numbness, difficulty speaking and paralysis on one side of the body – but they last less than 24 hours.

  15. Depression. one in every six people will suffer from it once in their lives.

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