A new survey of the nation's health has found that the most common reported health conditions are high blood pressure and back problems.

More than four in five people report they are in good health, according to the Healthy Ireland survey from the Department of Health.

It shows that obesity has plateaued and fallen slightly since the last survey in 2007 but 60% of people are still overweight.

The findings show that four in ten men do not get enough exercise.

The most commonly desired lifestyle change is to be more active and people spend more than five hours sitting each day on average.

Less than one in five people now smoke each day and most want to quit.

More Irish adults are now ex-smokers than current smokers.

Four out of ten people binge drink on a given occasion, with over a fifth of people doing so at least once a week.

There is a high level of unawareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse and one in five drinkers want to reduce their intake.

Most people eat fruit and vegetables every day but the majority also eat snack foods each day, some consume these foods twice a day.

The survey shows that younger people are less likely to eat breakfast.

7,500 households were surveyed in the study.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar welcomed the publication of the Health of the Nation report.

He said a report will be published every year so that findings can be improved.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Mr Varadkar said that there were some positive findings in the report but that alcohol abuse remained a problem.

He said: "I think part of the difficulty that we have sometimes in Ireland is we have this whole message around drinking responsibly and that implies that there is a small minority out there who drink irresponsibly and everyone else is fine.

"Unfortunately, most adults in Ireland probably do drink too much or do engage in binge drinking that has health risks for them but also for society as a whole."

He also said that he was in favour of putting a levy on sugary drinks.