Poll: Americans Think They're Healthy

Silhouette of people over US map and flag
Most U.S. adults are in good or excellent health — or at least that's what they say, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll, conducted by telephone from Nov. 9-12, included 1,004 adults. They were asked to rate their physical and mental health. Of those polled, 79 percent rated their physical health as "excellent" or "good," while 21 percent said it was "only fair" or "poor."

Self-ratings for mental health were even higher: 86 percent said their mental health was "excellent" or "good," while 14 percent rated it "only fair" or "poor."

Results from the annual poll haven't changed much since 2001, Gallup notes.

But are Americans really as healthy as we claim? That's not clear. The poll didn't include specific health questions — such as "What is your blood pressure?" — and participants weren't asked for medical records for confirmation.

Gallup took a closer look at the health ratings from 2003 to 2006. That analysis shows that younger adults, Republicans, men, people with higher incomes, whites, and churchgoers are most likely to rate their physical and mental health highly.

SOURCE: Gallup Poll News Service.

By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D