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Most Americans Think It's Others Who Are Unhealthy
Date:2/16/2010

Survey found most people thought they were fine, while their docs disagreed

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Despite rising rates of obesity and diabetes, a new survey has found that a majority of Americans believe their health is just fine - it's everyone else who has the problem.

More than 50 percent of respondents said that other people's health "was going in the wrong direction." In contrast, only 17 percent said their own health was going in the wrong direction.

Commissioned by GE Healthcare, The Cleveland Clinic and Ochsner Health System, the survey looked at how Americans and their health-care professionals rate the country's health. The findings, which were released Tuesday, show a big disconnect between how Americans rate their own personal health and how they rate the health of their fellow Americans. Furthermore, Americans seem to think they are in much better shape than their doctors believe they are.

"Either people are denying reality about themselves or they don't have the correct knowledge and believe they are doing the right things," said study author Dr. Michael Roizen, chairman of The Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute. "Personally, I think there is a lot of misinformation [about healthy habits]."

On the other hand, Roizen added, many physicians may be overstating their concern about the health of the general population because they tend to see the sickest.

According to the study, which surveyed more than 2,000 people across the United States late last year:

  • Nearly 30 percent of the respondents gave themselves an A for managing their personal health, while 92 percent of doctors gave them a C or lower.
  • Nearly a third of the study respondents gave themselves an A for eating healthy. Once again, 92 percent of doctors gave them a C or lower.
  • About a third gave themselves an A for getting regular exercise, while 91 percent of physicians
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