They’re Feeling in the Pink, Though Heaven Knows Why

Given their unhealthy habits, Americans might be expected to feel like wrecks. They don’t. Respondents to a Gallup poll confessed to the lapses documented in the chart, but also presented themselves as a robust lot. Of the adults, 26 percent rated their health as “excellent” and 55 percent said it’s “good,” while 16 percent called it “just fair” and 3 percent rated it as “poor.” Among teens, “excellent” (19 percent) and “good” (66 percent) also outpointed “just fair” (12 percent) and “poor” (3 percent). The poll found a mixed pattern when it quizzed adults on whether they get the various checkups now recommended. In all, 84 percent had gone to a doctor in the year prior to being questioned, up a shade from the 82 percent found in a 1998 poll. Among women age 40 and up, 85 percent said they’d had at least one mammogram, but just 61 percent had been tested in the past year. Among men age 40-plus, 74 percent said they’d had at least one rectal exam to check the prostate, but just 46 percent had gone for one within the past year. As for cholesterol, 77 percent of adults said they’d been tested in the past year.