Americans incorrectly perceive themselves to be healthy

By Sheryl Kay • Published: June 10th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Feeling good? Are you sure?

Apparently many Americans says they are, although they don’t think those around them are fit. And many physicians don’t think we’re very healthy, either.

In a study recently commissioned by The Cleveland Clinic and the Ochsner Health System, researchers conducted a national survey of two thousand people that looked at how Americans assess their own personal health… and how they evaluate the health of others around them.

Findings indicated that fifty percent of respondents said that other people’s health was going in the wrong direction, while only seventeen percent said the same thing about their own health.

And when it came to managing a personal health regimen, eating well and getting routine exercise, about one-third of the respondents said they were attentive to all three. Yet more than ninety percent of the physicians questioned on the same criteria gave their patients a C grade or lower.

The study also showed that many respondents didn’t know their own basic health stats. Only twenty-four percent knew their body mass index, and only slightly more knew their blood glucose level, their daily caloric intake or their current cholesterol levels. Still, most respondents did report that keeping those numbers in a good range was paramount to staying healthy.

The researchers concluded that the best way to bridge this health perception disconnect is for each of us to be aware of how well we are following commonly accepted guidelines for healthy living. That means paying special attention to our diet, weight management and exercise… and then following our own best advice.