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Most Americans Do Not Make Comprehensive Life Plans for Healthy Living
added: 2009-01-10

A new survey of American adults reveals that three-quarters (74.8%) report feeling positive about their overall health, despite the fact that a majority of them also report having a serious disease or being at risk for serious health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The survey, which was commissioned by the American Diabetes Association, also showed that while most Americans conceptually acknowledge the need for planning to ensure the peace of mind of their family, most people are not proactive in doing so.

Because the American Diabetes Association is concerned about the health and well-being of all Americans - not just people living with diabetes - it has created a free booklet and launched a new public service announcement campaign to raise awareness of this important issue and assist Americans in taking control of their health and well-being. The booklet, "Planning For A Healthy Life" provides information on everything from nutrition and exercise, choosing a doctor, and managing your finances, to planning for a secure retirement and decisions for later years.

"Let's face it, most Americans have been touched, in some way, by diabetes," said George J. Huntley, Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association. "When it comes to the health crisis our country faces with diabetes, we need to do so much more to get in the hearts and minds of people who aren't taking the time to consider their own health and the health of their children and grandchildren as part of their life plan."

The American Diabetes Association sees a clear connection between planning and healthy living and wants everyone to have access to the tools needed to effectively plan for a healthy life. Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes and one-quarter of them do not even know that they have it. Additionally, another 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes, a condition that increases their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association commissioned this survey to assess the prevention and pre-planning practices of more than 1,700 American adults aged 30 and older. The results indicate that Americans are neither adopting important lifestyle changes to prevent diseases they are at risk for, nor are they making the plans necessary to secure their families' protection, such as financial planning and end of life issues.

According to the survey, 4 out of 5 respondents who were at-risk for diabetes or heart disease believed their health was already "good" or "excellent," despite having modifiable risk factors for these diseases. Additionally, more than 8 out of 10 significantly at-risk respondents reported that they believe they have meaningful control of their health.

The survey also showed that while 70.4% of respondents had life insurance, fewer than half had a will, and fewer than one in four had made funeral pre-plans, suggesting that Americans are not covering the full spectrum of medical, legal, and ethical possibilities that arise in the course of life. Despite not yet taking action, 70% of respondents indicated that they want to protect their family in the event of their death.

These findings illustrate the need for Americans to familiarize themselves with health promotion, disease prevention, and pre-planning practices.

"We recognize that diabetes can have an impact on many facets of life, not just health. Health is just one issue that Americans confront daily and smart planning can positively influence health and many other elements of day-to-day life," added Huntley.

Source: Market Wire

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