GALLUP POLL: New Survey Reports State Of Nation’s Health
Most Americans ignore doctors' advice on diet, safe sex and exercise, but they do get routine physicals and screening tests, according to a Gallup poll released yesterday. George Gallup Jr., co-chair of the Princeton, NJ-based polling firm, said, "The medical profession has done its job, but the public hasn't because they are still indulging in habits that are self- destructive." The "report card" is the first ever commissioned by the American Medical Association. Gallup said he hopes the findings will "provide a baseline for watching future health care trends." Dr. Randolph Smoak, chair of the AMA, said, "There's been a shift toward people having greater awareness of health- care needs. ... But, it's still a matter of discipline." The survey, America's Health Report Card 1998, sampled 3,140 people in late spring and has a margin of error of +/- 2%. Selected findings:
- Half of Americans 12 and older are overweight, and one in seven is obese.
- Sixty percent of adults age 25 to 64 exercise strenuously, but "only one in three over age 65 gets even moderate exercise."
- Only little more than half of respondents with multiple sexual partners reported using a condom the last time they had sex.
- One quarter of respondents said they smoked cigarettes, a pipe or cigars.
- Forty percent of adults and one in eight teens reported drinking an alcoholic beverage within the last month. Up-side:
- Two-thirds of Americans visited the dentist last year and 80% said they visited a physician.
- Ninety percent of those over 65 had their cholesterol screened, and three quarters of women performed a breast self-exam