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Wednesday
Mar232011

Survey: Are Americans Feeling Healthy?

Jim Arbogast/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Too many of us are overweight or obese, we’re not exercising enough, we’re still smoking and Alzheimer’s disease is rising. So how are we feeling about our health as a nation? Pretty good, actually. 

A survey by the National Center for Health Statistics on Americans’ general health assesses 15 health measures, such as health insurance coverage, rates of flu and pneumococcal vaccinations, obesity, smoking, diabetes, asthma and others.  Americans are also asked to rate their own general health as excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. 

Although the percentage of people who rated their health as excellent or very good decreased slightly from 69 percent to 66 percent from 1997 to 2010, some 90 percent of Americans still rate their health as good or better.  This positive self-assessment is particularly interesting if one considers that some measures of health have been decreasing.

For example, the percentage of people who failed to obtain medical coverage due to cost in the past 12 months increased from 4.5 percent in 1997 to seven percent in 2010.  Cases of obesity and diabetes increased from 19.5 percent to 28.2 percent and 5.3 percent to 8.4 percent, respectively.
 
Other changes are more positive.  Rates of flu and pneumococcal vaccinations also increased significantly, along with HIV testing.

The report also showed that smoking has decreased.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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