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October 18, 2018/News Releases

Parade/Cleveland Clinic Health Survey: Americans View Mental And Physical Strength as the ‘New Healthy’

Americans not taking enough steps to improve health but want guidance

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Intellectual heavyweight! Model brain with barbells

New York, NY – October 18, 2018 – What exactly do Americans consider to be healthy in 2018? Parade magazine and Cleveland Clinic recently joined forces to take the pulse of Americans’ behaviors and attitudes toward health today.

The findings from the Parade/Cleveland Clinic Healthy Now survey include:

Being Strong, Both Physically And Mentally, Is The New Healthy.

  • 75% of Americans would rather be seen as physically strong than thin (25%).
  • 79% of Americans would rather be seen as smart than sexy (21%).
  • About two-thirds (68%) strongly believe that mental health is just as important as physical health.

Americans Are Fed Up With Society’s Unrealistic Body Image Expectations.

  • 88% of Americans believe society sets unrealistic body image expectations.
  • Significantly more Americans want to be described by others as positive (57%), mentally sharp (43%), balanced (34%) and energetic (25%) than thin (9%).

We Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Healthy.

  • Almost seven-in-ten (67%) people agree that it is possible to be both healthy and dealing with a chronic illness.

Americans Know What To Do To Help Prevent Their Biggest Health Concerns, But Few Follow Through.

The risk of cancer is the biggest fear for Americans, both for themselves (39%) and for their loved ones (44%), followed by heart disease/heart attack (31% for themselves vs. 40% for loved ones) and Alzheimer’s/dementia (22% for themselves vs. 27% for their loved ones).

  • Though roughly nine-in-ten (89%) agree that getting an annual physical or check-up is important, only half (51%) actually follow through.
  • 83% know that eating five or more servings of vegetables a day is important when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, but only one-fifth (20%) of Americans are currently eating enough vegetables daily.
  • Furthermore, while people consider low sugar (35%) and low carb (28%) to be the healthiest diet options, only two-in-five (40%) are willing to give up sugar or carbs to improve their health.

Americans Are Confused About How To Balance Diet And Exercise.

  • About three-quarters (72%) of Americans think that exercising is more important than watching their diet.
  • Additionally, two-in-five (40%) believe that if they work out for an hour daily, they can eat whatever they want for the rest of the day.
Strong is the new healthy, according to a Cleveland Clinic and @ParadeMagazine survey. https://t.co/PsNS4omQdY pic.twitter.com/pYmRbIttcM

— ClevelandClinicNews (@CleClinicNews) October 18, 2018

Americans Want Clear, Concise Information And Advice About Health.

  • About two-thirds of people want to improve their health but feel there is too much conflicting information out there these days about the best way to do so (63%) and they need help determining what the best methods are for them to improve their health (66%).

“When I see these results, it shows me that people want to create real health—they want to be strong and feel good both mentally and physically,” says Mark Hyman, M.D., director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “For years, Americans have heard conflicting information about diet and exercise, and many of them are so confused they have just given up. The truth is, you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, and eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Lisa Delaney, SVP/Chief Content Officer of Parade says, “There’s a real opportunity for health care professionals and the media to encourage Americans to make the kind of small, simple lifestyle changes that go a long way when it comes to physical and mental health.” Delaney“Something as simple as talking a walk before dinner instead of watching TV, or eating a salad for lunch instead of a burger are the building blocks of a stronger, fitter body and mind.”

Some other notable survey stats:

  • 43% of Americans weigh themselves at least weekly.
  • 56% think that living healthy is too expensive for them.
  • A majority of Americans don’t go to the doctor right away when noticing changes in their health but 68% go within two weeks.
  • Most Americans (67%) see breakthrough cancer treatments as very important to improving healthcare.

Visit Parade.com/healthynow for the full results and a get-healthy action plan. Click here to download Parade’s free Healthy Now booklet.

About the Parade/Cleveland Clinic Healthy Now Survey A joint online survey by Cleveland Clinic and Parade of 1,010 Americans, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States, completed between July 13 and 20, 2018. The margin of error for the total sample at the 95% confidence level is +/- 3 percentage points.

About AMG/Parade AMG/Parade develops and distributes premium content across print, mobile, digital, video and audio platforms. Its brands include Parade, Relish, Spry Living, Athlon Sports & Life and American Profile's Community Table. The company's suite of newsstand titles is targeted to the sports, decorating and gardening, outdoors and pop culture categories. Based in Nashville, Tenn., and New York, the company also creates custom content for newspapers, major brand clients and retailers.

About Cleveland Clinic Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 52,000 employees are more than 3,600 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2017, there were 7.6 million outpatient visits, 229,000 hospital admissions and 207,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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