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Doctors' and Nurses' Wellness Checklist: Healthy Diet, Exercise, Dietary Supplements

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ever wonder if your doctor personally follows the health advice that he or she prescribes to you? According to the recent "Life ... supplemented" Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study, the majority of physicians do engage in very healthy behaviors, with three of the top shared healthy behaviors being: trying to eat a balanced diet (82 percent), exercising regularly (73 percent) and taking vitamins and other supplements (72 percent).

Nurses tend to follow a similar wellness checklist, with 87 percent of nurses saying they try to eat a balanced diet and 89 percent taking supplements. But nurses seem to exercise slightly less than doctors, with only 67 percent saying they exercise regularly. The dichotomy doesn't end there -- nurses are also more likely to seek out advice from other healthcare professionals (81 percent say they visit their own healthcare professional regularly), while only 48 percent of doctors say that they visit a healthcare professional regularly.

"It's encouraging that for the most part, doctors and nurses practice the healthy behaviors that they preach, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking supplements," said Donnica Moore, M.D., president of the Sapphire Women's Health Group and a consultant to the "Life...supplemented" consumer wellness campaign. There is also interesting news when it comes to sleep and the thirst for caffeine. Despite their often long hours, nearly two-thirds of physicians and nurses say they regularly get a good night's sleep (62 percent of physicians and 65 percent of nurses), and only 28 percent of physicians and 33 percent of nurses admit to consuming large quantities of caffeine.

Additionally, the overwhelming majority of physicians and nurses abstain from smoking (90 percent and 86 percent, respectively) and only 4 percent of physicians and 3 percent of nurses say they often consume large quantities of alcohol. Most doctors and nurses (72 percent and 68 percent, respectively) claim they maintain a healthy weight. The study also reported that 40 percent of physicians and 32 percent of nurses do not take any prescription medications.

"It appears from this survey that the majority of healthcare professionals are focusing on staying healthy and are trying to do the types of things we all need to do before we get to the point where we need treatment. That's a good lesson for consumers," said Dr. Moore.

Those interested in assessing their own healthy habits and building their wellness checklist can take My Wellness Scorecard, a free interactive tool available on After answering a series of short questions about their healthy, or not-so-healthy lifestyle choices, consumers can find out if they are an AlphaWELL, WELL, WannabeWELL or OhWELL, and get easy-to-follow tips to improve their overall health and wellness.

Methodology: The "Life...supplemented" HCP Impact Study of 1,177 healthcare professionals (300 primary care physicians, 301 OB/GYNs, 299 other physician specialists and 277 registered nurses and nurse practitioners) was conducted online, October 3-11, 2007 by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Margins of sampling error at a 95 percent confidence level range from +5.6 percent to +5.9 percent for each of the four groups of healthcare professionals surveyed. A nominal honorarium was given to each healthcare professional completing the survey.

About the "Life...supplemented" HCP Impact Study: The study is part of the "Life...supplemented" consumer wellness campaign, which is dedicated to driving awareness about the mainstream use of dietary supplements as an integral part of a proactive personal wellness regimen that combines healthy diet, supplements and exercise. The study was undertaken following a search of the current medical literature that revealed disparities among definitions of dietary supplements, instruments and populations surveyed that raised more questions than answered, specifically whether the personal use of supplements by healthcare professionals correlates to their recommendations to patients. The "Life...supplemented" campaign is managed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry. For more information:

Four physicians were advisors to the study: Robert Bonakdar, MD, Director of Pain Management, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine; Paula Gardiner, MD, Assistant Professor, Boston University Medical Center; Donnica Moore, MD, President, Sapphire Women's Group; and Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Director of Education, Program in Integrative Medicine, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona Health Sciences, provided insights into the data.

SOURCE Life?supplemented
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