Britons are increasingly turning to self-diagnosis kits to check their health, new figures suggest.
Market analyst Mintel says sales of self diagnostics such as blood-pressure, blood-glucose and body-fat measuring kits have increased by almost 30% in the last five years.
The company predicts a further 60% increase in the market by 2012, with sales expected to reach £158 million a year.
Mintel says the surge in sales is being driven by government health warnings and an overstretched NHS.
The biggest increase has been in products that monitor obesity-related conditions, such as blood-pressure and blood-glucose testing kits. This sector has grown by 55% in the past five years to reach £34 million.
Consumers are also becoming more conscious about leading a healthier lifestyle, with sales of gadgets such as pedometers, body-fat and heartbeat monitors growing by 48% over the last five years.
Alexandra Richmond, Mintel Senior Consumer Analyst, said: ‘As a nation we are constantly bombarded with health warnings and are becoming ever more aware of the growing obesity problem.
‘This, combined with the fact that people are finding it increasingly difficult to get a doctor’s appointment, means many are choosing to go it alone when it comes to their health.’